India skipper Virat Kohli and Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry bagged the top honours at the ICC Awards of the Decade while Afghanistan's leg-spin wizard Rashid Khan took home the ICC T20I cricketer of the decade prize.
The winners for the awards aimed at recognising the top performers in different categories were announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday.
Kohli, who received the maximum number of nominations (5) possible for a single player, was named the ODI player of the decade in addition to being named the male cricketer of the decade.
Kohli made his international debut in 2008, fresh after leading India to the ICC U19 World Cup title earlier that year. He immediately made an impact in the national side and was part of the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy-winning teams.
His prolific run-spree over the decade saw him accumulate an astronomical tally of 20,396 runs across formats at a stellar average of 56.97. Kohli's excellence shone most prominently in the 50-over format, racking up in excess of 10,000 runs at an outstanding average of 61.83 in the past 10 years.
Kohli has also been an influential captain in India cricket as he inspired his team their maiden Test series victory on Australia soil in 2018.
"It's just been an honour for me to be able to go out there and perform for my team, and it's a great honour for me to win this award," Kohli stated in a video message.
"My only intention was to make winning contributions for the team and I just strive to do that in every game."
Australia's Perry was adjudged as the female cricketer of the decade given her splendid all-round career stats. She played a pivotal role in Austalia's four World T20 title wins and scored 4,349 runs while claiming 213 scalps during the decade.
Perry's brilliance is not just limited to cricket as she played football for Australia at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
"It has been tremendous to develop the women's T20 game and take it forward. Amazing to see where it's come from when I was introduced to it," she said.
Steve Smith was crowned the ICC Test award for his 'Bradman-esque' level of consistency in the traditional format. He averaged 65.79 during the stipulated time period and hit 26 centuries and 28 fifties including a ridiculously exceptional display at the 2019 Ashes series where he scored 774 runs in seven innings.
All of Smith's achievements come despite the fact he was handed a one-year ban by Cricket Australia (CA) for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal at the 2018 Cape Town Test.
?? "I am speechless after this award and happy for the fans. For someone from Afghanistan to get this award, it's a special moment for me."— ICC (@ICC) December 28, 2020
??? Rashid Khan's heartwarming reaction to winning the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade award ??#ICCAwards pic.twitter.com/l404BarWId
Afghanistan's spin bowling ace Rashid said he was "speechless" after being picked as the men's player of the decade in 20-over cricket. He has taken 89 wickets across 48 T20Is, boasting an impressive tally of two five-wicket hauls and three four-wicket hauls.
"For someone from Afghanistan to get this award, it's a special moment for me," he stated.
India's 2011 World Cup-winning skipper MS Dhoni won the decade's spirit of cricket award for calling back England batsman Ian Bell following a bizarre run-out in the 2011 Nottingham Test.
In the associate player categories, Scotland's Kyle Coetzer and Kathryn Bryce were named the best male and female cricketer respectively.
The nominees for each category were chosen based on on-field performances and overall achievements for at least five years in the past decade.