It was double delight for India as Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana swept the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2019 'Leading Cricketer of Year' honours. Indian captain Kohli was named the Wisden Leading Cricketer of the year for an unprecedented third successive time, whereas for Mandhana this was her first award.
The Indian talisman was picked as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the year, along with England's Tammy Beaumont, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Rory Burns.
Kohli had notched up 593 runs in five Tests at an average of 59.3 during India's 1-4 loss to England and ended the year with five hundreds to his name.
Smriti Mandhana, who won the Leading Women's Cricketer of the Year, scored 669 and 662 runs in ODIs and T20Is during the course of 2018. She was also in stellar form in the Women's Super League, compiling 421 runs at an astounding strike rate of 174.68.
Kohli and Mandhana had won big at the ICC awards night as well. Mandhana had won 'Women's Cricketer of the Year' as well as the 'Women's ODI Player of the Year', while Kohli had won the Cricketer of the Year award besides finishing as the top batsman in Tests.
Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan was named the Leading T20 Cricketer of the Year for the second year in a row, following his superb domestic and international performance last year. He took 22 wickets at an average of 8.68 for Afghanistan in T20Is, besides scalping 21 wickets in the Indian Premier League 2018.
The five Cricketers of the Year are chosen by Lawrence Booth, the editor of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, with the 2019 version serving as the 156th edition.