Everybody wants a slice of the high-visibility medium that is Indian cricket. Last night in Bangalore, Castrol Cricket Awards for 2011 were held, and the automobile lubricant manufacturer went out of its way to heap prizes on India's finest.
Skipper MS Dhoni took the Cricket of the Year award, despite having led the team to its worst performance abroad since the turn of the century. Suresh Raina was preferred for the ODI Cricketer than Virat Kohli, who for the past three years has been among the top three run-scorers in the world in 50-over cricket but was handed a doorstep award.
Khelnama vented its ire in an editorial:
Rahul Dravid has had a brilliant test year, especially with those centuries he scored in losing causes in England. And the dignified way in which he called quits. No doubt, he stands tall amongst the ruins of the last season and was worthy of being named the Test Batsman of the Year.
But, herein lies the dilemma for the organizers. Rahul has earned the award, and Sachin needed to get one too. But hey, Sachin eventually did score his 100th, didn’t he? There you go. A special award for that. But, you know, its Sachin. Let’s give him Batsman of the Year as well.
Virat Kohli won an award. He has been by far the best ODI batsman in the world during the last 18 months, along with Hashim Amla and AB De Villiers. Surely, nobody can have any grievances on him being named the ODI Batsman of the Year. Except that he didn’t win this award. The ODI Batsman of the Year was Suresh Raina. Kohli, on the other hand, won the Castrol Standout Performance Under Pressure Award.