India’s number one pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah won the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer (2018-19) at the BCCI Annual Awards in Mumbai on Sunday. Spinner Poonam Yadav was chosen as the best women’s cricketer.
Bumrah, who recently became India’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is, made his Test debut in South Africa in 2018. Since, he has claimed five-wicket hauls in South Africa, England, Australia, and the West Indies, making him the first and only Asian to achieve the unique feat. Bumrah was also instrumental in India beating Australia in Australia 2-1 for the very first time in a Test series.
The 26-year-old Bumrah has been sensational for India in every format since his debut in 2016. In 12 Tests, he has picked up 62 wickets at an average of 19.24 with as many as five five-wicket hauls. Further, he has 103 ODIs scalps in 58 matches at an average of 21.88, and 53 in 45 T20I while averaging 21.11. He recently made a comeback to the Indian team during the T20Is against Sri Lanka.
Since making her debut in 2013, leg-spinner Yadav, who won the top prize in women’s category, has been highly impressive. She has 72 wickets in 46 ODIs at an average of 20.84, and 85 scalps in 62 T20Is averaging an exceptional 14.68. 28-year-old Yadav was recently awarded the Arjuna Award.
Among other notable awardees, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anjum Chopra were given the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for Women respectively. Srikkanth was part of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning squad and was, in fact, the top-scorer in the final with 38 runs. He later also served as India’s chairman of selectors.
Chopra, a former captain, played 12 Tests, 127 ODIs and 18 T20s scoring 548, 2,856 and 241 runs respectively. She is renowned as one of India’s finest batswomen ever.
Other prominent winners
BCCI Special Award: Dilip Joshi
Best International Debut -- Men: Mayank Agarwal
Best International Debut -- Women: Shafali Verma
Dilip Sardesai Award - Highest Run Getter In Test Cricket- 2018-19: Cheteshwar Pujara
Dilip Sardesai Award - Highest Wickets In Test Cricket- 2018-19: Jasprit Bumrah
Highest Run Getter In One Day Internationals - 2018-19 - Women: Smriti Mandhana
Highest Wickets In One Day Internationals - 2018-19 - Women: Jhulan Goswami
--Renin Wilben Albert