AAKASH CHOPRA walked away with the top batting honours in the CEAT Cricket Ratings award at a glittering function here on Monday. Topping the list with 41 points, the Delhi opener bagged the Batsman of the Year Award 2007-08 and was followed closely by Gautam Gambhir and Cheteshwar Pujara with 38 and 37 points respectively.
Apart from pocketing a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, Chopra also found a berth in the CEAT India XI, an outfit comprising the cream of domestic cricket.
However, the evening's big one was reserved for Baroda all-rounder Yusuf Pathan. Leading the pack with 50 points, Pathan, who bowls right-arm off-break besides being an attacking bat, won the Cricketer of the Year Award that came with a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh. Chopra and Praveen Kumar were next in line with 41 and 40 points respectively.
The awards ceremony, a celebration of performances in the Elite Group of the Ranji Trophy, also announced the CEAT India XI. Named to the outfit were Aakash Chopra, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, M.Vijay, Yusuf Pathan, Vinayak Samant (wk), R. Vinay Kumar, Ashok Thakur, Sudeep Tyagi and Praveen Kumar. Karnataka's R. Vinay Kumar won the Bowler of the Year Award and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. Among other awardees, Saurashtra's Pujara was decorated as the Most Promising Youngster of the Year.
Most promising youngster:
Cheteshwar Pujara (Rs 1 lakh)
Lifetime Achievement Award:
Amarjeet Kaypee (Rs 1 lakh)
India U-19 cricketer:
Rishi Dhawan (Rs 1 lakh)
Dream team of 2007-08:
Aakash Chopra, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Yusuf Pathan, Vinayak Samant, R Vinay Kumar, Ashok Thakur, Sudeep Tyagi and Praveen Kumar.