Sangakkara – the star at ICC awards
- ICC Annual Awards
Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkarawas the undisputed star of the show sweeping three awards at the annual ICC Awards ceremony held in Colombo on Saturday.
Former skipper Sangakkara was named Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year and was also the recipient of the People’s Choice Award which he had won last year too.
“This is an amazing honour and I’ve seen the people who have won it before me and the nominees too, to be named alongside them is wonderful,” Sangakkara said after receiving the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for Cricketer of the Year from ICC president Alan Isaac.
Sangakkarawas named ahead of South Africa’s HashimAmla and Vernon Philander, and Australia’s Michael Clarke who were the other nominees for the Cricketer of the Year.
The awards were just recognition for what has been a phenomenal performance by Sri Lanka’s star batsmanover the last year. In 14 Tests, he scored 1,444 runs at an impressive average of 60.16, with five centuries and five half-centuries which included a match-saving 211 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. Since giving up the wicket-keeping role in Tests Sangakkara has been able to contribute more as a specialist batsman and was often the rock on which his sides’ innings was built.
Sangakkara’s ODI stats too were impressive as he racked up a total of 1457 runs in 37 ODIs with three centuries. He also contributed behind the stumps with 39 catches and three stumpings with his wicket-keeping. He might have well had an unprecedented fourth award for the night but India’s ViratKohlipipped him to the ODI Cricketer of the Year Award – an award that Sangakkara had himself won in 2011.
Sangakkara has been in the top five in both the ICC Test and ODI ratings for batsman which demonstrates his consistency throughout the year.
“I try to ensure I am consistent and I need to keep raising the bar each year and keep trying harder and harder to ensure I keep playing good Test cricket,” Sangakkara said. “It’s a constant battle but I have the support of a great team that helps me to do the best I can.”
Sangakkara was not the only Sri Lanka to shine on the night. Former cricketer turned umpire Kumar Dharmasena was picked as the umpire of the year beating off competition from Australian Simon Taufel and Pakistan’s Aleem Dar who had previously won the award over the last eight years – Taufel on five occasions and Dar on three. New Zealand’s Billy Bowden, England’s Richard Kettleborough and Australia’s Rodney Tucker were the other nominees for the award.
The David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year was voted on by the 10 current Test captains and the Elite Panel of ICC match referees and is partly based on the umpires’ performance statistics. Dharmasena had been the umpire with the best performance rating of 97% over the last year.
Dharmasenamade his international debut as an umpire in 2009 and was invited into the Elite Panel in May 2011. In the voting period he officiated in seven Tests and 13 ODIs.
West Indies continued its hold on the Emerging player of the Year award when their new spinning sensation Sunil Narine bagged the award to follow team mate DevindBishoo’s feat last year. Sri lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal, New Zealand’s Doug Bracewell and James Pattinson of Australia were the other contenders for the award.
New Zealand’s Daniel Vettoriwon the ICC Spirit of Cricket award, for a sporting gesture during a Test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo last November.
The match was heading for a close finish, when Vettori accidentally collided with the non-striker Malcolm Waller during his follow-through. The clash hindered Waller from taking a single, and by that time the striker Regis Chakabva was too far down the track to get back. Though the wicketkeeper Reece Young took off the bails, Vettori immediately indicated that he had blocked Waller, and New Zealand decided to not appeal for Chakbva’s wicket.
South Africa’s Richard Levi grabbed the ICC’s T20I Performance of the Year award for his knock of 117 not out off 51 balls against New Zealand, in Auckland, in February. That innings broke Chris Gayle’s record for the fastest century in international T20s.
Levi beat two Sri LankansTillakaratneDilshan (nominated for his century against Australia last August) and AjanthaMendis (for his six-for against Australia during the same series), and West Indies’ Chris Gayle (for his unbeaten 85 against New Zealand in Florida) in the category.
Two Taylors walked away with the awards for the Womens categories.
West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor was named the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award. She beat her team-mate Anisa Mohammed, as well as the England pair of Sarah Taylor and Lydia Greenway to the award.
England’s Sarah Taylor was adjudged the Womens T20 Cricketer of the Year beating Stafanie, and Australia’s Alyssa Healy and Lisa Sthalekar.
The award for the ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year went to George Dockrell, Ireland’s left arm spinner who beat three of his own teammates Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien and Ed Joyce and Afghanistan’s DawlatZadran to the award.