NEW DELHI – Virat Kohli won India's cricketer of the year award for the fourth time on Thursday for outstanding performances over the past two seasons. Kohli became India's captain in 2015 and led his team back to number one place in the Test rankings the following year. The 29-year-old, who was also named International Cricket Council player of the year in January, amassed 1,332 runs in 13 Tests in 2016-2017.
He also averaged 84.22 for his 1,516 runs in 27 one-day internationals. In six Tests in 2017-18, the star batsman has scored 896 runs at an average of 89.6. Kohli will receive the prestigious Polly Umrigar award, named after a former India captain, and a $45,000 prize at a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) function in Bangalore on June 12.
He previously won the award in 2012, 2016 and 2017. The prize is not granted in every calendar year, due to scheduling issues, and is determined on previous seasons' performances. Known as "King Kohli" in his home country, the player was recently ranked the highest paid cricketer in the world, at 83rd in the Forbes' list of big earning athletes. It estimated his annual earnings at $24 million. In line with his status as a national hero, a wax effigy of Kohli was unveiled on Wednesday at the Madame Tussauds museum in New Delhi.
Women cricketers will also be feted at the Bangalore event, with Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana set to be named player of the year for 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.