Indian middle-order star batsman Ajinkya Rahane has won the Ceat Indian Cricketer of the Year Award, after his solid run of form with the bat. Rohit Sharma was the other Indian batsman who clinched the 'Special Award' for his contribution to cricket. Sri Lankan wicketkeeper/batsman Kumar Sangakkara was conferred with the Ceat International Cricketer of the Year.
Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, who led India to their first World Cup title in 1983, was given the International Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th Ceat Cricket Awards Ceremony on Monday.
Rohit Sharma and his love affair with the Eden Gardens continued as he led Mumbai Indians on Sunday to lift their second IPL title in three years. The memories of his incredible innings of 264 not out against Sri Lanka at the same venue are still fresh in the minds of who watched the knock, and in recognition of that double hundred, Sharma was conferred with a 'Special Award'.
Speaking about his unbeaten 264 against Sri Lanka, Rohit said: "When I came back our coach Duncan Fletcher told me that I had made my first 50 in something like 73 balls and had I made it in 50 balls, I could have scored a triple hundred."
Rohit Sharma also expressed his delight at winning the IPL 2015 title for Mumbai Indians. "We did not have a great start to the tournament and at that period it was important to hold the team together which we did and go forward. We always had a positive approach. Everyone who went in wanted to make an impact," Sharma said.
Rahane had a good individual year for India, with the Mumbai batsman picking out that hundred at Lord's on a green pitch as the most special.
"I enjoyed playing in both Australia and England. I have got to mention one innings, the 103 I scored at Lord's and winning is really important for me. So scoring a hundred and winning a Test match is really special," Ajinkya Rahane was quoted as saying by PTI after receiving the award.
"I really enjoyed my batting throughout the season. The four months we spent in Australia gave me confidence to play well in IPL.
"So far, I have enjoyed my journey and learned from my experience of 14 Tests. As long as I am performing well and contributing towards my team, the number does not matter for me. Whatever number I bat, I look to contribute for my team and maintain the consistency."
Here's the list of the award winners at the 19th Ceat Cricket Awards:
International Lifetime Achievement Award: Kapil Dev
International Cricketer of the Year: Kumar Sangakkara
Indian Cricketer of the Year: Ajinkya Rahane
International Batsman of the Year: Hashim Amla
International Bowler of the Year: Rangana Herath
T20 Player of the Year: Dwayne Bravo
Popular Choice Award: Kieron Pollard
Special Award: Rohit Sharma
Domestic Cricketer of the Year: R Vinay Kumar
Young Player of the Year: Deepak Hooda