MS Dhoni, Yuvi make India proud

September 12, 2008

On a night of mixed fortune for Indian cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named the ODI Player of the Year, Yuvraj Singh won the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year Award but pacer Ishant Sharma failed to win the Emerging Player honour at the annual ICC awards function in Dubai on Wednesday (September 10).

West Indies’ Mr. Dependable Shivnarine Chanderpaul was adjudged Cricketer of the Year after a fine performance in Tests as well limited over cricket while South African fast bowler Dale Steyn earned the Test Cricketer of the Year Award.

India ODI captain Dhoni beat off tough competition from team-mate Sachin Tendulkar, Australian fast bowler Nathan Bracken and Pakistan stalwart Mohammad Yousuf to take the prestigious award.

Yuvraj was deservedly honoured for his stupendous six sixes in an over off Englishman Stuart Broad in the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa last year.

Ishant lost out to Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Medis who took the Emerging Player of the Year Award.

During the voting period, Dhoni played 39 ODIs and scored 1,298 runs at an average of 49.92 and at a rate of 82.46 runs per 100 balls faced. In that time, he hit a century and nine fifties making sure he led his team from the front.

Dhoni also effected 62 dismissals (46 catches and 16 stumpings) as wicketkeeper, which is almost twice as many as the next best, albeit having played more matches than any other keeper. He is currently ranked number one in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen.

Tendulkar, however, found a place in the 12-man World ODI Team of the Year for the second year running, along with his captain Dhoni. Tendulkar was chosen along with Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa for the openers slot in the team led by Australia’s Ricky Ponting who got the leadership position for second year in a row and named in the team for third year running.

The 12-man squad was chosen by a specially-appointed selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend Clive Lloyd. Virender Sehwag is the only Indian included in the 12-man World Test Team of the Year led by South African Graeme Smith.

In other awards, Simon Taufel of Australia won the Umpire of the Year Award for the fifth year in a row, the Netherlands’ Ryan ten Doeschate was declared Associate Player of the Year, England captain Charlotte Edwards chosen Women’s Player of the Year while the Spirit of Cricket Award went to Sri Lanka.

Yuvraj beat off tough competition from his captain Dhoni, Chris Gayle of the West Indies and Australia’s Brett Lee, who became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa.

On 19 September last during a Twenty20 World Championship match against England in Durban, Yuvraj smashed every delivery of the 19th over off England’s Staurt Broad beyond the boundary rope, in the process registering a 12-ball half-century and putting his team on course for victory.

It was the first time a player had hit six sixes in a single Twenty20 International over. Herschelle Gibbs did it in an ODI during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies while Garry Sobers became the first batsman to achieve the feat during a first-class match back in 1968.

For the best cricketer award, Chanderpaul had to fight off tough competition from Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena as well as South Africans Graeme Smith and Dale Steyn to become the fifth player to win the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.

The West Indian crisis man follows the footsteps of India’s Rahul Dravid (2004), Andrew Flintoff of England and South Africa s Jacques Kallis (joint winners in 2005) and Ricky Ponting of Australia (2006, 2007) to take the top award.

During the voting period, the left-hander from Guyana played eight Test matches, scoring 819 runs at an average of 91.00, including three centuries and six fifties, all of which were against the top seven teams in the world. He also played 13 ODIs during that time, finishing top of the averages with 74.75 having scored 598 runs, a haul that included a century and five fifties.

He is currently ranked number one in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen and is sixth in the rankings for ODI batsmen.

For the Test Player of the Year, Steyn beat off Chanderpaul, Jayawardene and Proteas team-mate Jacques Kallis to win the first ICC award of his career. During the 12-month voting period, Steyn put in some remarkable performances, taking 86 wickets at an average of just 18.10 in the 14 Test matches. He was the only bowler to earn an average less than 21.50 (of those who played more than three matches).

The 25-year-old had the best strike-rate with a wicket every 31.9 deliveries and he boasted two 10-wicket matches and six five-wicket innings.

List of Winners:

Cricketer of the Year Award: Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI)

Test Player of the Year Award: Dale Steyn (SA)

ODI Player of the Year: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Ind)

Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Charlotte Edwards (Eng)

Emerging Player of the Year: Ajantha Mendis (SL)

Associate ODI Player of the Year: Ryan ten Doeschate (NL)

Twenty20 International Performance of Year: Yuvraj Singh (Ind)

Spirit of Cricket Award: Sri Lanka

Umpire of the Year Award: Simon Taufel

World Test Team of the Year (in batting order):

Graeme Smith (SA, captain); Virender Sehwag (Ind); Mahela Jayawardena (SL); Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI); Kevin Pietersen (Eng); Jacques Kallis (SA); Kumar Sangakkara (SL, wk); Brett
Lee (Aus); Ryan Sidebottom (Eng); Dale Steyn (SA); Muttiah Muralitharan (SL); 12th man: Stuart Clark (Aus)

ICC World ODI Team of the Year (in batting order):

Herschelle Gibbs (SA); Sachin Tendulkar (Ind); Ricky Ponting (Aus, captain); Yunus Khan (Pak); Andrew Symonds (Aus); Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Ind, wk); Farveez Maharoof (SL); Daniel Vettori (NZ); Brett Lee (Aus); Mitchell Johnson (Aus); Nathan Bracken (Aus); 12th man: Salman Butt (Pak).

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