Mahendra Singh Dhoni leads India's charge at the LG ICC Awards 2008 with nominations in two categories, the International Cricket Council announced on Monday.
Dhoni, India's one-day and Twenty20 International (T20I) captain, is nominated for two prizes -- the ODI Player of the Year and the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year -- the latter for his captaincy in leading India to the inaugural title in South Africa last September.
The T20I award is new this year and recognises the newest form of the game at international level.
Dhoni is among one of four Indian players in with a chance of taking home a prize from cricket's night of nights to be held in Dubai on Wednesday, September 10.
Also nominated are Sachin Tendulkar (ODI Player of the Year), fast bowler Ishant Sharma (Emerging Player of the Year) and Yuvraj Singh (T20I Performance of the Year, to mark his six sixes against England in Durban last September).
Ishant faces tough competition in the Emerging Player category with Sri Lanka mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, England all-rounder Stuart Broad and Morne Morkel, the South Africa fast bowler, also vying for the trophy.
In the T20I Performance of the Year, Dhoni and Yuvraj are up against Chris Gayle of the West Indies and Australia's Brett Lee.
Gayle's 117 from 57 balls in the opening match of the ICC WorldTwenty20 was the first hundred in the international form of Twenty20 while Lee captured a hat-trick against Bangladesh in Cape Town, another first for T20Is.
Lee is one of three Australians nominated this year along with Nathan Bracken in the ODI Player category and Lisa Sthalekar, who is shortlisted for the Women's Cricketer of the Year for the second year in a row.
Three players -- Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena and South Africa's Dale Steyn -- could enjoy a bumper night in Dubai.
Each is nominated in both the Cricketer of the Year and Test Player of the Year categories in the ICC Awards 2008, the fifth staging of the event which was established in 2004.
The other nominee for the Cricketer of the Year prize is South Africa captain Graeme Smith while his team-mate Jacques Kallis is a further nominee in the Test category.
None of the four players shortlisted for the Cricketer of the Year Award has previously lifted the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy so there is certain to be a new name to join the roll-call of winners.
Players who have secured the game's top individual honour in the past are Rahul Dravid of India (2004), England's Andrew Flintoff and Jacques Kallis of South Africa (joint winners in 2005) and Australia captain Ricky Ponting (back-to-back winner in 2006 and 2007).
Also nominated for the women's prize are Claire Taylor of England (another shortlisted for the second successive year), New Zealand's Nicola Browne and England captain Charlotte Edwards.
Thomas Odoyo of Kenya is aiming for back-to-back success in the Associate Player of the Year category, but faces opposition from team-mate Alex Obanda, Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands and Niall O'Brien of Ireland.
And Simon Taufel has a chance of an unprecedented five successive Umpire of the Year awards after being nominated alongside Mark Benson, Aleem Dar, Steve Davis and Rudi Koertzen.
The shortlists for the ICC Awards 2008 are as follows:
Cricketer of the Year
Test Player of the Year
ODI Player of the Year
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Emerging Player of the Year
Associate Player of the Year
Ryan ten Doeschate
Twenty20 International Performance of the Year
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Women's Player of the Year
Spirit of Cricket
Umpire of the Year
The nominations for six of the awards were made by a five-man ICC selection panel chaired by West Indies legend Clive Lloyd. The panel also includes former Australia captain Greg Chappell, ex-South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock, former Sri Lanka opener Sidath Wettimuny and former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan. This panel will also select the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year.
The winners of these six individual awards will be voted upon by a 25-person panel from around the world, made up of renowned former players, respected members of the media, and an elite umpire and elite match referee.
Based on the 12 months between August 9, 2007 and August 12, 2008, the ICC Awards 2008 will take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game. That period includes the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 2007 in South Africa.
The ICC Awards ceremony is now in its fifth year and this will be the first time it has been staged in Dubai. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006) and Johannesburg (2007).