The ICC was bestowing awards recently and a couple of Australian cricketers took home some top honours.
Bowler Pat Cummins was declared Test Player of the Year. He took 59 wickets in 2019, 14 clear of Nathan Lyon. Right there you have clear and compelling evidence of the best attack in the world, but that is a topic for another day.
Cummins was so formidable in 2019 that only in three innings from 23 bowled did he fail to take a wicket.
Marnus Labuschagne was name Emerging Player of the Year. He filled in for Steve Smith when the former captain, making his return to the Ashes after serving his one-year ban for the ball-tampering plot in Cape Town, was sidelined with concussion after being bowled in the head.
Labuschagne delivered in the clutch to the extent that not only was he instrumental in helping Australia retain the Ashes in 2019, he played himself right into the Test side.
The ICC Player of the Year Award went to Ben Stokes, who like Smith, ran afoul of proper behaviour, but Stokes’ incident was in 2018 and his performance in 2019 demonstrated that some people learn from their mistakes.
The Spirit of Cricket Award was given to Virat Kohli, making him essentially best and fairest in the game, for his appeal at the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup to the Brits to cheer the return of Smith, rather than boo him. A class act by any measure, more so when he goes quietly agasint Australia, as he did in the first match of Australia’s ODI tour of India, where he went off for 16 agasint leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
The ICC recognised English umpire Richard Illingworth as Umpire of the Year. Deepak Charhar was the T20I Performer of the Year and Kyle Coetzer was named Associate Cricketer of the Year.