Mumbai: Left-arm slow bowler Iqbal Abdulla of Kolkata Knight Riders has won the 2011 "Citibank Rising Star Award" for the best under-23 player of the recently concluded IPL-IV.
The 20-year-old Mumbai Ranji player beat back the strong challenge from other leading contenders Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja to win a cheque of Rs 10 lakh after grabbing 16 wickets at 19.06 runs per victim and at an economy rate of a shade over six, a release on Friday.
"I enjoyed playing alongside some of the legends of the game and hope to perform even better in the future," said Abdulla.
Saying it was a great honour to receive the award, the young spinner added that he was happy to be "recognised for my performance so early on in my career."
Former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri were on the jury panel to decide the award.
IPL chairman Chirayu Amin said Abdulla has become a role model for budding cricketers.
"The award highlights a valuable benefit of the IPL to cricket in India. This is a league in which talent meets opportunity and Iqbal Abdulla has taken full advantage of playing with and against the world`s best to show his potential in the T20 form of the game.
"We congratulate him on an outstanding season and wish him all the best in his future endeavours on the field. He has now become a role model for many young cricketers."
Previous winners of the award were Shreevats Goswami (2008), Rohit Sharma (2009) and Saurabh Tiwary (2010).