Virat Kohli makes history with clean sweep of ICC awards

Thumbs up from Virat Kohli who enjoyed yet another stellar year with the back across all formats of the game. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Virat Kohli makes history with clean sweep of ICC awards

  • India skipper win cricketer of the year, Test cricketer of the year and ODI cricketer of the year.
  • Kohli led India to their first ever series win in Australia earlier this year.

SYDNEY: India captain Virat Kohli said he was “very very happy” after becoming the first-ever player to clinch all three top honors, including cricketer of the year, in the International Cricket Council awards.
Kohli, who recently led India to their maiden Test and one-day series triumph in Australia, was also voted the Test and ODI men’s player of the year as the cricket’s world governing body announced its annual honors, chosen by former players and veteran journalists.
“It feels amazing. It’s a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year. I feel really grateful and very, very happy with the team doing well at the same time myself performing,” Kohli said.
“Having recognition at the global level from the ICC is something you feel proud of as a cricketer because you understand that there are many players playing the game.”
The 30-year-old Kohli, who is married to Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, has reached superstar status in cricket-mad India, after first coming into the limelight when he led the South Asian nation to victory in the 2008 Under-19 World Cup.
He was the top Test and ODI batsman in 2018, scoring 1,322 Test runs at an average of 55.08 — including five centuries — and 1,202 runs at 133.55 in ODIs, with six centuries.
He also scored 211 runs in 10 Twenty20 matches.
Kohli was picked to skipper the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year for the second year running.

PONTING’S FOOTSTEPS

Kohli became only the second player after Australian great Ricky Ponting to retain the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy — given to the cricketer of the year.
He was the unanimous choice for the award, with South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada coming second in both the cricketer of the year category and the Test player of the year.
“This is well deserved recognition for an extraordinary talent,” ICC chief executive David Richardson said of Kohli.
“His regard for the game and particularly for Test cricket is also recognized and appreciated. He is passionate in his support of the longest form of the game and its continued importance.”
Australia opener Aaron Finch won the T20 performance of the year award for the second time for his 172 — the highest-ever individual T20 score — against Zimbabwe in Harare last July.
India’s Rishabh Pant was named emerging player of the year, while Scotland batsman Callum MacLeod took home the associate cricketer of the year trophy.
The 21-year-old Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in England, and equalled the record for the most catches taken in a Test, with 11 in Adelaide in December.


Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

Updated 18 February 2019
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Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

  • Reds boss worried about resurgent German giants ahead of second-round first-leg clash.
  • Bayern defender Joshua Kimmich claims Liverpool are the favorites.

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool side they will have to be at their very best if they are to beat Bayern Munich.
The Reds head into the Champions League clash as slight favorites after months at the top of the Premier League. But having drawn the German giants in the second round, Klopp has told his players they have to keep their feet on the ground worthy could end up out of the competition before it really gets going.
“It’ll be very tough,” there Liverpool manager said.
“(Bayern are) only two points off Dortmund in the domestic league and have been consistent finalists and semifinalists.
“They’re a world class team but at the same time we’re confident we can cause them problems.
“They’ve got world class players so we know how difficult it will be.
“Everyone has to be at 100 percent otherwise we’ll get nothing from the game.
“Having said that we have confidence we have the ability to hurt them, and it’s up to us to show that.”

After a tough start to the season Bayern are up to second in the Bundesliga. 


Liverpool went al the way to the final last year, before losing to Real Madrid. But the momentum created by that surprise run has been maintained in the Premier League and another trip to the Champions League knockout stages.
Bayern currently lie second in the Bundesliga and are starting to look like their old levels agains after a tough start to the season. For Klopp, who managed Dortmund before arriving at Anfield, that could spell trouble for the Reds.
“After six years of pretty much dominating the league it was clear this year was going to be a tougher situation.
“It’s actually still the same, being at the top of the league and still in the last-16 of the Champions League.
“It’s a normal situation with a high quality team.
“Munich’s situation, from my point of view, makes them even more dangerous and even more of a threat from my point of view.
“This is a competition, in Europe, where they always do well.”
For the Germans the role of underdogs suits them perfectly. At least that is according to Joshua Kimmich.
The defender said: “Liverpool are the favorites.
“They have lost one league game all season and have let in only 15 goals. But when you look at us, we are not as consistent as before.”
Before a ball has been kicked Bayern did receive some good news. Winger Franck Ribery was originally left out of the squad to play at Anfield and did not fly with his teammates. But after becoming a father, the Frenchman has now decided to join up with the squad and will be available for selection. One man who definitely will not make the pitch is Jerome Boateng. The central defender is suffering from a stomach virus.
The Bavarians will also have to wait until Tuesdays to determine whether winger Kingsley Coman will be able to play after picking up an ankle injury on Friday.
The Frenchman scored twice but was injured in the final stages of their 3-2 win at Augsburg.

KEY MAN — ROBERTO FIRMINO 

Of Liverpool’s brilliant attacking trio the Brazilian is perhaps the most underrated and important. When he plays well the Reds usually do likewise. He links up the play well, settling up as many goals as he scores. Liverpool will be hoping he turns up with his A-game tonight, because if he does Bayern Munich could be in for a  long night. 

ARAB NEWS PREDICTS

For once Bayern are not having it all their own way in the Bundesliga. But they are improving and giving Borussia Dortmund something to think about in the race for the title. But home advantage will be key and a resurgent Reds will prove too strong for a Bayern defence that has, on occasions this campaign, looked less than watertight. The only question is can Liverpool get a decisive lead and put the tie to bed before the second leg?