Wasim Akram might have termed his captaincy as listless in the ongoing Champions Trophy and his team might have been ousted from CT but there was happy news for MS Dhoni who was not only named the captain of the ODI and TEST team of the year but also won the ODI player award. However he could not be there to take the awards surprisingly (Maybe he was avoiding the media)
The ICC Awards ceremony was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The who’s who of the cricketing world were there at the biggest event of ICC. Emerging player of the year nominees Ben Hilfenhaus and Graham Onions had forgotten to shave, while Test Player and Cricketer of the Year nominee Gautam Gambhir was serious as usual. Yuvraj Singh arrived forgetting to even tuck in his shirt or straighten his tie.
Most Awaited ICC Awards
The evening got off to a great start with a lovely tap dance. Former India captain Ravi Shastri was the event’s host and he was as usual dressed perfectly for the night. The awards panned out in this order: Emerging Player of the Year, Spirit of Cricket Award, Associate Player of the Year, T20 International Performance of the Year. After a dinner break, it would be the bigger fries – ODI Player of the year, Test Player of the Year and Cricketer of the year and obviously the ODI, Test teams of the year.
And the AWARD goes to ……..
Emerging Player of the Year: Peter Siddle(Australia)
He seemed pretty elated, albeit nervous, and walked off the stage in triumph.
Spirit of Cricket award: New Zealand.
Vettori accepted the accolade and was characteristically humble in his acceptance speech.
Associate Player of the Year: William Porterfield (Ireland)
Most of the audience had to strain their ears at his speech because of the heavy accent.
Twenty20 International Performance of the Year: Tillakaratne Dilshan
He was sporting a beard that had been fashioned with the utmost of precision. His 96 not out off 57 balls against the West Indies in the semi-final of the World Twenty20 at The Oval on was truly sublime.
Umpire of the Year: Aleem Dar(Pakistan)
This was a big surprise…Simon Taufel had won it four times but this time around it was Aleem Dar who brushed off Tony Hill, Taufel and Asad Rauf’s collective challenge. He was extremely humble in his thanks and was grateful to his wife, who has to be without him for six or seven months of the year.
2009 ODI XI : Virender Sehwag, Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Yuvraj Singh, Martin Guptill, Mahendra Dhoni (captain), Andrew Flintoff, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ajantha Mendis, Umar Gul.
Cricket Hall of Fame: Wasim Akram was the only one out of the five who was there to accept the award.
2009 TEST XI: Gautam Gambhir (India), Andrew Strauss (England), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Thilan Samaraweera (Sri Lanka), Michael Clarke (Australia), Mahendra Dhoni (India, captain), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Mitchell Johnson (Australia), Stuart Broad (England), Dale Steyn (South Africa).
Dhoni wasn’t around, so Strauss accepted the gong on the team’s behalf. The Proteas found consolation in the selection of Steyn and de Vililers.
ODI Player of the year: MS Dhoni
It was a fight between three Indians versus one West Indian. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mahendra Dhoni, Virender Sehwag or Yuvraj Singh? But the man with the Midas touch got it. Gambhir collected the award on his captain’s behalf.
TEST Player of the year: Gautam Gambhir
Gambhir beat Johnson, Thilan Samaraweera and Andrew Strauss to get his hands on this prestigious award. Gambhir termed it “a dream run” and looked forward to building on his purple patch with the bat. He pinpointed his match-saving knock against the Kiwis as the best.
Women’s Cricketer of the Year: Claire Taylor(England)
Cricketer of the Year: Mitchell Johnson (Australia)
The ultimate prize didn’t go to Dhoni, Gambhir, or Strauss… but the triumphant Aussie pace ace Mitchell Johnson took the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. He took 80 Test wickets from August 2008 to August 2009, 31 more than his closest competitor. He said the highlight of his past 12 months was getting rid of Graeme Smith in Sydney for a consolation win Down Under.