New Zealand

Steve Smith named men’s test cricketer of the decade after cheating scandal in Cape Town

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Star Australian batsman Steve Smith has been named the men’s test cricketer of the decade despite the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in 2018.

India captain Virat Kohli won the supreme gong in the men’s game, the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for male cricketer of the decade, and Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry was the big winner among the International Cricket Council (ICC) awards.

Kohli was also named the men’s ODI cricketer of the decade to claim two awards but Perry finished with three, the most of the any player announced among the individual honours by the ICC on Tuesday (NZ time), taking out the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the female cricketer of the decade, as well as being crowned the best women’s ODI and Twenty20 cricketer.

Steve Smith fielding during the Boxing Day test between Australia and India.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Steve Smith fielding during the Boxing Day test between Australia and India.

No New Zealanders won any of the prizes but there were nominations for White Ferns Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine, ex-Black Caps Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum were up for the Spirit of Cricket Award won by Indian great MS Dhoni, and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was a nominee in three categories.

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Dhoni won the spirit award after calling back former England batsman Ian Bell after a contentious run out in 2011.

Williamson was up for the top men’s award won by Kohli, the Spirit of Cricket Award, and the test cricketer prize collected by Smith, the former Australia test captain who has outstanding batting figures.

Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry won three individual awards.

Hanna Lassen/Getty Images

Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry won three individual awards.

In the last decade, Smith has scored 7,040 runs in 69 tests at an average of 65.79 with 26 centuries, but he was stripped of the captaincy after the cheating scandal in the Cape Town test on Australia’s tour to South Africa in 2018.

Smith and vice-captain David Warner were both banned for one year for their roles in the scandal, but they returned in time to play in last year’s Cricket World Cup and the Ashes.

Meanwhile, Bates was beaten to the awards for female cricketer of the decade and ODI player by Perry. Devine also lost to Perry but in the T20 category.

Virat Kohli won the men's award.

James Elsby/AP

Virat Kohli won the men’s award.

Bates and Williamson were selected in some of the ICC’s teams of the decade earlier this week.

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan was named men’s T20 cricketer of the decade and the ICC also announced an associate cricketer of the decade in the men’s and women’s game, won by Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer and Kathryn Bryce respectively.

The ICC’s Awards of the Decade were chosen by fans from nominations put forward by a panel of journalists, statisticians, analysts and former cricketers, and broadcasters.

AT A GLANCE

ICC awards of the decade

  • Virat Kohli (India) wins the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade
  • Ellyse Perry (Australia) wins the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade
  • Steve Smith (Australia) is ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade
  • Virat Kohli (India) is ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade
  • Ellyse Perry (Australia) is ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade
  • Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) is ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade
  • Ellyse Perry (Australia) is ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade
  • Kyle Coetzer (Scotland) is ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade
  • Kathryn Bryce (Scotland) is ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade
  • MS Dhoni (India) wins ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade

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