India cricket captain Virat Kohli will be presented with the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer 2016-17 and 2017-18 at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Awards to be held in Bengaluru on Tuesday, a BCCI release said. While Kohli gets top honours in the men's category, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana are set to be maiden recipients of the award for best international cricketer (woman) for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, respectively, according to a press release.
To honour one of its finest administrators, the BCCI has rechristened four awards in remembrance of Late Jagmohan Dalmiya. The Jagmohan Dalmiya Trophy will be presented to the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively in the U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy and to the Best Junior and Senior Cricketer in women's cricket.
The BCCI has also raised prize money for nine categories by Rs. 1 lakh and the revised prize money is Rs. 1.5 lakh.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has been adjudged the best state association owing to their consistent performances in the BCCI domestic tournaments for the 2016-17 season, while the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) gets the prize for the 2017-18 season.
"I congratulate all the winners of the BCCI Annual Awards. The last two years have been fabulous for Indian Cricket with both the men and women's teams doing very well. We are proud of their achievements and this is our small way of acknowledging their on-field efforts," Committee of Administrators Chairman Vinod Rai said.
"This year we will be presenting awards for the past two seasons and it is going to be a big occasion ahead of the historic Test against Afghanistan. For the first time, an award category for the best International Cricketer (Woman) has been introduced and it is a step in the right direction," former India woman cricketer and member of CoA Diana Edulji said.
"The BCCI Annual Awards is an occasion where former greats of the game, the present generation and the stars of tomorrow come under one roof. For BCCI, it is an opportunity to show its gratitude towards cricketers who enrich this game with their skills and hard work," BCCI Acting President CK Khanna said.
"Every year we have champion players delivering champion performances. Awards help boost a player's confidence and we only hope that we get more noteworthy performances in the season to follow," said BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.