Cricket has always been a sport filled with drama and excitement and embedded with glorious uncertainties. The year gone by was no different with the passing of the baton in Indian cricket as Virat Kohli became the captain in all three formats of the game, questions raised on MS Dhoni's credentials as a cricketer, women's cricket coming up the ranks and the upswing of Pakistan cricket, which had lost its charm, as they became champions again. Here's a look at the talking points of 2017 that made it a year of many firsts.
Nine series wins for India
With India winning the Test series against Sri Lanka 1-0 at home, Virat Kohli's team had achieved what no other Indian team had done before. The victory was the ninth consecutive series win for India and they have now matched Australia's winning streak of nine between the year 2005-06 and 2008. India started off the streak by beating Sri Lanka in 2015 and haven't lost a series since. Out of the nine India, just like Australia, have won six in their home soil while three have come in overseas conditions.
DRS rule change
The International Cricket Council approved a few changes in the game of cricket recommended by Cricket Committee, led by former India captain Anil Kumble. One of the changes that has made a lot of impact on the game ever since it came into effect from October 1 is that of the team not losing a Decision Review System (DRS) when the leg before wicket (LBW) dismissal return as 'umpires call.' Another notable inclusion was the usage of DRS in all T20 Internationals.
Women's Cricket World Cup 2017
The year saw England hosting the Women's World Cup and to everyone's surprise it garnered a lot of attention all around the world. There was a keen interest surrounding the event and India came close to lifting the trophy but lost to England in the final.
Mithali Raj led from the front as the Indians showed a lot of grit and determination that saw women's cricket upscale to different height in the country. India's middle order batswoman Harmanpreet Kaur possibly played the innings of her life and probably one of the best knocks by an Indian in a world event. She had sent the Aussies on a leather hunt and scored 171 not out off just 115 balls in the ICC Women's World Cup semi-final at Derby.
Cricket returns to Pakistan and Champions Trophy win
Cricket returned to Pakistan with the country hosting the World XI in a three-match series in September. The short series was a major step in trying to convince the international teams to tour Pakistan in the future. There was no cricket in Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
To add to that, Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in June and took the whole world by surprise. After their loss to India in the group stages of the tournament, hardly anybody gave them a chance to win the tournament. But you never say never when it comes to Pakistan.
Anil Kumble's resignation as Team India coach
Anil Kumble resigned as the head coach of the Indian team after the ICC Champions Trophy as he was not interested in an extension. Hours after resigning, the former India captain put out a statement on Twitter and wrote, "the captain had reservations with my 'style'... In light of these 'reservations'. I believe it is best I hand over this responsibility to whomever the CAC and BCCI deem fit."
BCCI tried its level best to resolve the misunderstandings between the captain Virat Kohli and Kumble but it was apparent that the partnership was untenable that led to Kumble's resignation. Ravi Shastri was appointed as the head coach in place of Kumble in July.
Star India got the better of Sony Pictures in their attempt to secure the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights with a whopping bid of Rs 16,347.50 crore that made it the hottest property in world cricket. The bidding was held in Mumbai for a five-year period from 2018-2022 for various media rights of the cash-rich league.
With the new FTP, the ICC has only made it certain that there will be a separate window for IPL that only makes it bigger and stronger.
(With inputs from PTI, AFP)