India medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a soft-spoken and shy person but he could not hide his excitement after receiving the Polly Umrigar Trophy for the Cricketer of the Year award at the annual BCCI awards function in Mumbai on Friday.
"This reminds me that when Virender Sehwag was awarded the Cricketer of the Year trophy in 2007-08 and I was the Under-19 cricketer of the year, I walked up to him and asked him if I could see from close how the big Cricketer of the Year trophy is," Bhuvneshwar told the audience. "It feels really special to hold this trophy today."
Over the last two years, Bhuvneshwar has established himself as a key member of the Indian team in all three formats. While he cemented his place in the side with accurate swing bowling, his batting flourished during India's tour to England earlier this year. Bhuvneshwar finished with 263 runs and 22 wickets in seven Tests, 17 wickets from 22 ODIs, and seven wickets from as many T20 internationals during the period considered for the award.
"I would like to thank all my team-mates today," Bhuvneshwar said. "Without them, I wouldn't have been able to hold this trophy."
While all of Bhuvneshwar's team-mates applauded his achievement, the gathering stood in unison when former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar was presented the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award by his former team-mate and BCCI interim president Shivlal Yadav.
"I was going through the list of the previous award winners and it's an immensely honourable feeling to have joined such a special league. I thank the BCCI for honouring me with this prestigious award," Vengsarkar said. Two of the previous 21 recipients - Chandu Borde and Ajit Wadekar - also gave Vengsarkar a standing ovation.
While several top BCCI officials attended the function, N Srinivasan and Sundar Raman skipped the event. The ICC chairman and the IPL chief operating officer have been under investigation by the Supreme Court for their alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL corruption scandal.