Dhoni named ODI Player of the Year
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named ICC ODI Player of the Year for the second consecutive time at a glittering awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Thursday night.
While the flamboyant batsman was also named captain of both ICC Test and ODI teams, Test opener Gautam Gambhir too got top billing as he bagged the Test player of the year award.
The awards were given for performances between August 13, 2008 and August 24, 2009. The nominations were made by a five-member selection panel, headed by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd. The panel also included former cricketers Anil Kumble, Mudassar Nazar, Bob Taylor and Stephen Fleming.
The voting period includes high-profile events like the ICC World Twenty20 2009 in England, the ICC Women's World Cup 2009 in Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2009 in South Africa, as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.
The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its sixth year and this year it was held in Johannesburg to coincide with the ICC Champions Trophy 2009. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007) and Dubai (2008).
Image: (Left to right): The Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year, William Porterfield of Ireland, The Twenty20 International Performance of the Year Award Winner, Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka, The Test Player of the Year, Gautam Gambhir of India, The Women's Cricketer of the Year, Claire Taylor of England, The ICC Cricketer of the Year, Mitchell Johnson of Australia, The Emerging Player of the Year, Peter Siddle of Australia and The Umpire of the Year, Aleem Dar pose with their awards
Photographs: International Cricket Council/Getty Images
Gambhir named Test Player of the Year
India batsman Gautam Gambhir was honoured with the ICC Test Player of the Year, beating off short-list competition from Mitchell Johnson of Australia, Sri Lanka's Thilan Samaraweera and England captain Andrew Strauss to claim the first ICC award of his career.
During the 12-month voting period, Gambhir put in some remarkable performances with the bat, making 1,269 runs with an impressive average of 84.60 in the eight Test matches he played. He scored five centuries and four half-centuries during the period.
Upon collecting the award from ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar the 27-year-old Gambhir said: "It's been a dream run for me. I never thought it could be like this but life has changed for me and I am very happy.
"As a unit we have played very well and I am just glad to contribute to the overall success of the team."
Image: Gautam Gambhir
Johnson named Cricketer of the Year
Australia's Mitchell Johnson became the sixth player to win the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being named the 2009 ICC Cricketer of the Year.
Johnson fought off stiff competition to take the award from fellow short-list nominees Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India as well as England captain Andrew Strauss.
Johnson follows in the footsteps of India's Rahul Dravid (2004), Andrew Flintoff of England and South Africa's Jacques Kallis (joint winners in 2005), Ricky Ponting of Australia (2006 and 2007) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008) to take the top award.
"I'm really blown away. I am just surprised to be up here. It has been a great 12 months for our side. We have lost some wonderful players in recent years and we have been rebuilding with some young guys in the team and we have played together well.
"I'm enjoying the game at the moment -- that makes all the difference. The highlight for me was actually my first century in a Test match. I would be quite happy to wear the tag of all-rounder so I have been pleased with how my batting has come on. Also, winning in South Africa was a huge high for us.
"I'd like to thanks my team-mates, friends and family and my fianc e for putting up with the ups and downs over the last year or so."
During the voting period, the 27-year-old Queenslander played in 17 Test matches, taking 80 wickets, which was easily the highest number by any Test bowler in the voting period. His best match bowling figures were 11-159 against South Africa in Perth in December of last year and Johnson's economy-rate over the whole period was a mere 3.12.
His batting skills shouldn't be forgotten either for in the last year he has managed to score a total of 632 runs for Australia, including a century and three half-centuries, to register an average of 30.09.
Johnson also played 16 ODI matches in this time taking 28 wickets at an average of 24.25 and an economy rate of 5.06, his best haul being 4-34 against South Africa in April this year.
Image: Mitchell Johnson
Dilshan wins T20 Performance of the Year
Sri Lanka's extravagant batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan won the ICC Twenty20 International Performance of the Year in recognition of his 96 not out off 57 balls at the ICC World Twenty20 2009 in England.
This is the second year the award has been given to recognise the most impressive performance by a player in Twenty20 Internationals during the 12-month voting period and it continues to mark the advent of this exciting format of the game at international level.
On 19 June 2009, during the semi-final of the ICC World Twenty20 against West Indies at the Oval, Dilshan smashed 96 not out in 57 balls, in a performance that included two sixes and 12 fours. He helped to steer his side into the finals of the tournament after they beat the opposition by 57 runs.
The award rounds off a good year of Twenty20 cricket for Dilshan who took the ICC World Twenty20 by storm after showcasing his astonishing flick-shot over his head and also picked up the Player of the Tournament at the ICC World Twenty20 2009 after amassing 317 runs at an average of 52.83.
It beat competition from West Indies' Chris Gayle for his 88 off 50 balls against Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 2009 in England at the Oval; Pakistan's Umar Gul for his 5-6 against New Zealand in the same tournament at the same venue and Gul's team-mate Shahid Afridi for his 51 of 34 balls and 2-16 against South Africa in the semi-final of the tournament at Trent Bridge.
After collecting his award from last year's winner Yuvraj Singh from India, Dilshan said: "This is a great feeling for me. I can't forget about that innings -- it was so important and I was really happy about my overall performance in that tournament. It was a thrill for me to do well in England and do well for my team.
"I'm really proud of myself for having a new shot named after me [the Dilscoop]. That shot has given me confidence. If I am under pressure I can play that shot and put the pressure back on the bowlers."
Image: Tillakaratne Dilshan
Taylor named Women's Cricketer of the Year
England batter Claire Taylor was named Women's Cricketer of the Year.
During the voting period Taylor played 18 ODIs for England, scoring 565 runs at the top of the order at an average of 70.62. She also played in six Twenty20 matches amassing 230 runs with a lofty average of 115.
The 33-year-old took the award ahead of team-mate and last year's winner Charlotte Edwards as well as Australia's Shelley Nitschke.
The award rounds off a successful year for Taylor, who was part of the England side that was victorious at both the ICC Women's World Cup and the ICC Women's World Twenty20; she also claimed the Player of the Tournament at both of these events.
Accepting the award from ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Wasim Akram in Johannesburg, Taylor said: "It has been an amazing year for women's cricket and it has been a privilege to be involved in this great England team. We have had a great team environment with Charlotte Edwards leading from the front and a fantastic support staff.
"The highlight for us was coming home from the one-day World Cup with the trophy and then playing really well in the ICC World Twenty20 at home in England.
Image: Claire Taylor
Siddle is Emerging Player of the Year
Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle was honoured with the ICC Emerging Player of the Year award.
The 24-year-old, who played in 12 Test matches in the voting period and took 49 wickets with an average of 28.93, has made an impact within the Australia side with his charging run up and powerful delivery.
Siddle's best bowling figures in an innings during the voting period came against England when he took 5-21 in 9.5 overs in the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley. He had earlier taken another five-for, this time against South Africa in Sydney when he snapped up 5-59.
Siddle was the top choice of the 25-person voting academy, coming in ahead of team-mate Ben Hilfenhaus, England bowler Graham Onions and New Zealand's big hitter Jesse Ryder.
Receiving his award from Rahul Dravid, Siddle said: "Getting to represent my country is an enormous honour and it has been a great time for me to be part of the team. It's been very enjoyable.
"I'm very pleased. It has been an amazing 12 months and part of it is down to the blokes I've been playing with. It is quite a young group, with Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus especially, we all keep each other going and we have all had a lot of success," he said.
Image: Peter Siddle
Dar named Umpire of the Year
Umpire Aleem Dar was named ICC Umpire of the Year at the LG ICC Awards in Johannesburg.
Dar, who is 41 and from Pakistan, was voted to this award by the 10 Full Member captains as well as the eight-man Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, based on his decision statistics over the last 12 months.
It is the first time he has received an ICC award, and on collecting the trophy from ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, Dar said: "I am very pleased to get this award. Thanks to PCB and ICC as well as my friends and family and of course my wife, who I have to leave for long periods of time.
"Normally I am quite calm and so the pressure is not big for me. It is important to stay cool and if you make a mistake you can't let it get to you. You have to concentrate all the time."
Dar beat off strong competition from his colleagues on the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires Asad Rauf, Tony Hill and five-time ICC Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel.
Dar, who made his international debut as an umpire in 2000, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in 2004. In the voting period of these awards Dar stood in seven Tests and eight ODIs, as well as the ICC World Twenty20 in England, where he was an on-field umpire in four of the matches, including the semi-final between Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Image: Aleem Dar
Kiwis win Spirit of Cricket Award
The New Zealand cricket team was named recipients of the Spirit of Cricket Award.
It is the second time New Zealand won this award (the first being in 2004), which is presented to the team which, in the opinion of the Emirates Elite Panels of ICC Umpires and Match Referees and the 10 Full Member captains, has best conducted itself on the field within the spirit of the game.
The award was presented to New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori by Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive of the ICC.
Upon receiving the award on behalf of his team Vettori said: "I think most teams within world cricket aspire to the intangible notion of the Spirit of Cricket. It's not easy to define but I think when you get out on the field of play most guys know where that line is and most play the game in the right way.
"If we can couple the Spirit of Cricket award with the ICC Champions Trophy then we will be very happy indeed."
The award has previously been won twice by Sri Lanka (2007 and 2008), England won it in 2005 and 2006 while New Zealand took the honour at the inaugural ICC Awards in 2004.
New Zealand was one of several teams that demonstrated the Spirit of Cricket to great effect over the past 12 months and it narrowly defeated Australia, England and Sri Lanka to win this award.
Image: Daniel Vettori
Porterfield named Associate Player of the Year
Ireland captain William Porterfield was named the ICC Associate Player of the Year.
The voting academy chose Porterfield over other top Associate players including Canada's Rizwan Cheema and the Netherlands duo of Edgar Schiferli and last year's winner of this award Ryan ten Doeschate.
During the 12-month voting period, Porterfield played for Ireland in 11 ODIs making two centuries and two half-centuries. His batting average was 46.80 with a strike rate of 77.10. As captain he also led Ireland to nine victories in those 11 matches.
In the four ICC Intercontinental Cup fixtures played during the voting period, Porterfield averaged 38.14 with the bat, scoring one century and one half-century.
The 25-year-old Gloucestershire player also led Ireland to the Super Eight stage of the ICC World Twenty20 this year and helped it to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 after winning the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in South Africa in April of this year.
Upon collecting his award in Johannesburg Porterfield said: "It's been a fantastic year for us. This award caps it off on a personal note but it's great for the team to be going to the World Cup having won the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier early this year.
"This award is great for Irish cricket and it shows how much we have done on the field. If we continue onwards and keep on making improvements in that department then other awards will follow."
Image: William Porterfield
Dhoni leads ODI, Test teams of the Year
The ODI team of the Year, led by Dhoni, comprises dashing Virender Sehwag and the charismatic Yuvraj Singh.
The Test team of the Year, which also has Dhoni as the captain, comprises batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir.
The ICC announced its ODI Team of the Year, as chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend Clive Lloyd.
ICC Test Team of the Year: Gautam Gambhir (India), Andrew Strauss (England), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Thilan Samaraweera (Sri Lanka), Michael Clarke (Australia), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India, captain), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Mitchell Johnson (Australia), Stuart Broad (England), Dale Steyn (South Africa), 12th man: Harbhajan Singh (India)
ICC ODI Team of the Year: Virender Sehwag (India), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Kevin Pietersen (England), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka), Yuvraj Singh (India), Martin Guptill (New Zealand), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India, captain), Andrew Flintoff (England), Nuwan Kulasekara (Sri Lanka), Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka), Umar Gul (Pakistan), 12th man: Thilan Thushara(Sri Lanka).
Image: Yuvraj Singh poses with his cap as a member of The ODI Team of the Year