ICC awards, 2009 October 1, 2009

Johnson and Gambhir scoop top awards


Mitchell Johnson capped a tumultuous year by becoming the sixth winner of the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, after being named as the ICC World Player of the Year at cricket's annual awards ceremony in Johannesburg. Johnson, who shot to prominence during Australia's memorable series win in South Africa in February and March, claimed the title ahead of his fellow nominees, Gautam Gambhir, Andrew Strauss and MS Dhoni.

Johnson was a surprise choice for the title, not least because of the massive and very public crisis of confidence he suffered during Australia's Ashes defeat in England, particularly in the pivotal second Test at Lord's which England went on to win after Johnson's first-day figures of 2 for 107 in 19 overs. But when he got his game right he was nigh on unplayable, as his sensational performances against South Africa demonstrated. With 80 wickets in 17 matches, he was the most prolific strike bowler of the year, and he also recorded his maiden Test century and an unbeaten 96 against South Africa.

"I'm really blown away," said Johnson. "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."

India's star opener, Gambhir, was named as Test Player of the Year, after an impressive haul of 1269 runs at 84.60 in the eight Tests during the qualification period. "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," said Gambhir. "As a unit we have played very well and I am just glad to contribute to the overall success of the team."

Dhoni retained his title of ODI Player of the Year, seeing off competition from his team-mates, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag, as well as West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Dhoni played 24 ODIs during the voting period, scoring 967 runs at an average of 60.43 and strike-rate of 86.63, and also claimed 26 dismissals as he led India to 17 victories including a 5-0 demolition of England.

Tillakaratne Dilshan was a worthy winner of the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year award, after capping a sensational World Twenty20 tournament in England in June with a show-stealing 96 off 57 balls against West Indies in the semi-final. His performance at The Oval, in which no other Sri Lanka batsman managed more than 24, included two sixes and 12 fours, and though Sri Lanka went on to lose the final to Pakistan, Dilshan was nevertheless named as the Man of the Tournament, with a total of 317 runs at 52.83.

Dilshan is perhaps most notable for his signature "Dilscoop" shot - a flick-shot over his, and the keeper's, heads - and as he accepted his award he was equally proud to have coined a new term in cricket's lexicon. "I'm really proud of myself for having a new shot named after me," he said. "That shot has given me confidence. If I am under pressure I can play that shot and put the pressure back on the bowlers."

Australia's fast bowler, Peter Siddle, was named as the Emerging Player of the Year, after claiming 49 wickets at 28.93 in the 12 matches since his debut at Mohali in October 2008, including five-wicket hauls against South Africa at Sydney and England at Headingley, both of which led to memorable victories. Siddle beat his fellow Australia seamer, Ben Hilfenhaus, to the award, as well as England's Graham Onions and New Zealand's Jesse Ryder.

New Zealand's cricketers were considered to have conducted themselves better on the field than any other nation in 2008-09, as they claimed the Spirit of Cricket award for the second time, having also won during the inaugural Awards ceremony at Alexandra Palace in London in 2004. The judgement was made by the ICC's umpires and match referees, in conjunction with the ten full-member captains, and Daniel Vettori accepted the accolade on behalf of his colleagues, only 48 hours after reversing a run-out appeal against Paul Collingwood in their must-win group match against England.

"I think most teams within world cricket aspire to the intangible notion of the Spirit of Cricket," said Vettori. "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."

Pakistan's Aleem Dar ended Simon Taufel's monopoly to claim the Umpire of the Year award. It was the first time that anyone other than Taufel had picked up the accolade in the six years that the ceremony has taken place.

South Africa's spearhead, Dale Steyn, is the only player to retain his place in the World Test Team of the Year, with last year's captain, Graeme Smith, missing the cut to accommodate World Player of the Year nominees Gambhir and Strauss at the top of the order. Dhoni takes over as captain; AB de Villiers, Sachin Tendulkar and Thilan Samaraweera make up the middle-order, while Bangladesh's impressive allrounder, Shakib al Hasan, is chosen as the spin option alongside three quicks in Johnson, Steyn and Stuart Broad.

Six countries were also represented in the World ODI team, and just as with the Test side, there's only one survivor from the XI named 12 months ago. Dhoni was last year's wicketkeeper, and now he is captain as well, having been picked alongside his team-mates Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.

Three Sri Lankans - Dilshan, Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara - also feature, as well as two Englishmen, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen, neither of whom have played a part in the side's remarkable revival during the Champions Trophy. West Indies' Chris Gayle, Pakistan's death-overs specialist Umar Gul, and New Zealand's surprise package, Martin Guptill, make up the numbers.

England's women - World Champions in 50-over and 20-over cricket this year, were rewarded for their dominance when their star player, Clare Taylor, was named as the Women's Player of the Year. Taylor, 33, scored 565 runs in 18 ODIs an average of 70.62, and 230 runs at a lofty 115.00 in England's six-match World Twenty20 campaign.

Ireland's captain, Will Porterfield, was named as the Associate Player of the Year, after leading his side to nine ODI victories in 11 fixtures in a memorable season that also included qualification for the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20.

World 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), MS Dhoni (India, capt & wk), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Mitchell Johnson (Australia), Stuart Broad (England), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Harbhajan Singh (India, 12th man)

World ODI team of the year: Virender Sehwag (Ind), Chris Gayle (WI), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL), Yuvraj Singh (Ind), Martin Guptill (NZ), MS Dhoni (Ind, captain, WK), Andrew Flintoff (Eng), Nuwan Kulasekara (SL), Ajantha Mendis (SL), Umar Gul (Pak), 12th man: Thilan Thushara (SL)

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • umair on October 2, 2009, 11:49 GMT

    what a joke it is? it shows that how strong is the australian and indian lobby in icc. there's no yusaf, yunus and sangakara in test team lol........ saeed ajmal and afridi are far better than mendis to b placed in the odi team. msdhoni was assigned captain in both formats but hasn't been able to leed his side in final 4 in both of the icc events held this year. i shall b thankful if anyone pass these comments to icc authorities.

  • sadiq on October 2, 2009, 11:32 GMT

    Afridi did not single handed take pakistan to finals... he performed only in semi final and final with a luck which bought them semi final thanks to India. In the final Mohamed Amir took the only danger man in srilanka team to took them to final single handedly its Dilshan, he was the only batsman who performed for Srilanka. In my eyes Dilshan Deserves the to get the trophy.

  • sadiq on October 2, 2009, 11:22 GMT

    To be fair to everyone Dhoni is a clawn... He was has only played 35 test with 1 test century with an average of 35. Sanga around 85 test 20 test centeries average over 55. plus i would have Included pakistani and southafrican players they perform well, even though they played only very less cricket. England cricketers are Jokers. Srilanka should have won the Spirit of cricket for Going to pakistan when rest of the cricketing nations were hiding under the bed.

  • Atif on October 2, 2009, 11:22 GMT

    How about Johnson still gets the award but something like .. 'Mediocre cricketer of the year' .. same for Strauss, 'Mediocre Test Opener of the year' ... Interesting to see India do so well these days ... show me the money, show me the money :)

  • A on October 2, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    S Chanderpaul was one of the 4 nominees for ODI player of the year; but could not find a place in the ODI team of the year !!!! In the future one shd not be surprised to find the world player of the year not part of any world teams of the year and player of the year for Test/ODI not part of the respective team of the year !!!

  • Dewmini on October 2, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    Anyone can tell anything about the awards, not only about ICC awards but almost any awarding ceremony. I also have some problems but I accept it overall. As a Sri Lankan, I would have liked if more of our players were adjudged award winners, but at the same time, we all know that we didn't play that well this season. But still, we have three players in the World ODI Team which is really good. Just accepting the hard times as it is, and appreciating the performances of our team, let all of us be together with our team and encourage our heroes to achieve higher status in the game in the coming months. Let's unite and wish our lions best of the luck.


  • rumy on October 2, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    i totally disagree with uranium. Sakib was ranked the number 1 all rounder a long time BEFORE Bangladesh played either Zimbabwe or west indies. sakib was underrated. and Stuart Broad in the test team?? I'm sorry, but that's just crazy talk.

  • Jonathan on October 2, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    shakenbake, Broads bowling average this calendar year is virtually identical to that of Mitchell Johnsons. Perhaps Johnson shouldn't be in the team either?

  • Sunil on October 2, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    I dont think a team who always had (& even in recent times) allegations of ball tampering should be awarded with spirit of the year award. I think NZ deserves that award!!

  • Ryx on October 2, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    What a farce these awards are.I've always avoided talking about them because I felt that these are just a way of getting glitz and glamour in the game. But looking at the winners,I felt I had to say something.MS Dhoni for ODI player?Are you kidding me?The most OVER-RATED player! Dilshan for T20 instead of Gul?Its easy to score runs like Dilshan did,its nothing new but it will take a very long time to get bowling figures as good as Gul's. Spirit of cricket?NZ?Is accusing a team,that defeated you and embarrassed you,of ball tampering called Spirit of cricket? IPL,ICL and ICC awards.I have boycotted all of them.and ICC is run by BCCI.End of.

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