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Player of the Year award named after Sobers
September 06, 2004 17:56 IST
Cricket's most prestigious individual award -- the ICC Player of the Year -- will be named in honour of West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers.
The Sir Garfield Sobers trophy will be presented to the 2004 Player of the Year at Tuesday evening's ICC Awards ceremony, presented by Hyundai in association with FICA, the International Cricket Council said.
"It is a great honour to have this award named after me," said Sir Garfield, who was knighted for his services to cricket in 1975.
"I have been fortunate to enjoy a long association with a game that I and millions of others around the world cherish, and I appreciate this honour which has been initiated on my behalf, and I wish all those players who have been nominated as Player of the Year the very best of luck," he added.
ICC president Ehsan Mani said naming the Player of the Year award after the West Indian legend would add strong meaning for the individual voted as the game's most outstanding player of the past 12 months.
"The ICC is delighted that Sir Garfield Sobers has accepted its invitation to have this perpetual trophy named in his honour," said Mani.
"Sir Garfield Sobers was an outstanding all-rounder, a wonderful ambassador, and a man who has inspired generations of cricketers to play the game with flair and passion.
"It is fitting that we name the Player of the Year award -- international cricket's highest individual honour -- after this legend of the sport.
"The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy will be awarded for the first time on Tuesday night, and I'm sure that just like the player himself, the trophy will become an admired icon held in the highest regard among today's cricketers."
The recommendation to name the award after Sir Garfield Sobers came from a group of three cricket legends -- Richie Benaud, Sunil Gavaskar and Michael Holding -- who were asked by the ICC to select an individual with whom to honour cricket's ultimate individual award.
"When asked to nominate an individual, after whom the Player of the Year Award covering every aspect of cricket should be named, we chose Sir Garfield Sobers," said Mr Benaud.
"The trophy bears the name of cricket's finest all-rounder, a legend of the game, and it will mean a great deal to the chosen player on Tuesday night."
Sir Garfield Sobers played 93 Tests and one One-Day International in his 20-year career, scoring 8032 runs and claiming 235 wickets in Test cricket.
Players from all Full Member countries, as well as Kenya and the United States of America, who will be in London preparing for the ICC Champions Trophy, are expected to attend the Awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace on September 7.
A total of eight awards will be presented on the night, culminating in the highest individual honour, the Player of the Year.
The Player of the Year will receive the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, a handcrafted trophy produced by leading international crystal manufacturer Swarovski.
The design features a red crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, resting on a brass hand extended from a gold-plated base.