ECB complaint leads to Swann inclusion
Graeme Swann's addition to the long-list for the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award only came about after a "robust" intervention on his behalf from the chairman of the England & Wales Cricket Board, Giles Clarke, it transpired last night.
Swann, who has been one of the key factors in England's rise over the last year was initially overlooked when the first list of 16 names was unveiled on Wednesday, but was belatedly included as the ICC issued an apology for an "oversight".
Swann has been an outstanding performer across all formats in the period under consideration, between August 24, 2009 and August 10, 2010. In that time he has taken 49 wickets from 10 Tests, 28 in 23 ODIs and 16 in 11 T20Is, a format in which he was instrumental in leading England to the world title in the Caribbean. He is also currently the top-ranked spinner in the ICC rankings. He had initially been included only in the Test Player of the Year longlist.
"It is fair to say that the ECB made a very robust enquiry about why he was not on the list," Clarke told The Times. "I was given explanations for the players being on there, and some of them I found debatable. I was assured that the matter would be examined and told it would probably be a clerical error."
On the contrary, the ICC clearly took Clarke's complaint to heart, as it issued an unusually fulsome apology shortly after the news of his inclusion had been made public. "It was a genuine oversight on the part of the committee as Graeme fully deserved to be nominated in this category," said the former West Indies captain and current chairman of the ICC cricket committee Clive Lloyd, who headed up the five-man selection panel.
"Graeme, during the voting period, produced some very strong performances which puts him alongside the other top performers. On behalf of the selection panel, I apologise for this oversight."
"Graeme is immensely deserving," added Clarke. "He has been the main reason why the team has not lost a Test series all year, and he played a key role when we won the World Twenty20. He has played with great distinction in a style and spirit that is good for the game. What more did the poor man have to do to get on the list?"
"I saw on TV that I was in [the nominations] and I was expecting congratulations in the dressing room, but all I got was the mickey taken that I hadn't been in it initially," said Swann. "I don't know much about it, but I'm delighted to be on the long list, even it looks a tricky one to win with 16 other people. So fingers crossed."
The longlists of nominations were made by a five-man panel chaired by Lloyd, and also including former international players Angus Fraser of England, Matthew Hayden of Australia, Ravi Shastri of India and Zimbabwe's Duncan Fletcher, the former England coach. Short-lists for each award will be produced before the ceremony in Bangalore on October 6.
Cricketer of the year: Hashim Amla, Doug Bollinger, Michael Clarke, MS Dhoni, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakkara, Virender Sehwag, Dale Steyn, Graeme Swann, Sachin Tendulkar, Daniel Vettori, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson
Test player of the year: Hashim Amla, James Anderson, Mohammad Asif, Doug Bollinger, MS Dhoni, Tamim Iqbal, Mahela Jayawardena, Jacques Kallis, Simon Katich, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Virender Sehwag, Dale Steyn, Graeme Swann, Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Watson
ODI player of the year: Hashim Amla, Doug Bollinger, MS Dhoni, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Ryan Harris, Michael Hussey, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, AB de Villiers, Daniel Vettori, Shane Watson and Cameron White
Emerging player of the year: Mohammad Amir, Umar Akmal, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Shafiul Islam, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Angelo Mathews, Eoin Morgan, Pragyan Ojha, Tim Paine, Wayne Parnell, Kemar Roac, Steven Smith, Paul Stirling and David Warner
Associate and Affiliate player of the year: Ashish Bagai, Richie Berrington, Muddassar Bukhari, Tom Cooper, Ryan ten Doeschate, Trent Johnston, Kevin O'Brien, Mohammad Shahzad, Samiullah Shenwari and Paul Stirling
Twenty20 international performance of the year: Suleiman Benn 4 for 6 v Zimbabwe, Deandra Dottin 112*v South Africa Women, Chris Gayle 98 v India, Michael Hussey 60*v Pakistan, Mahela Jayawardena 100 v Zimbabwe, Mahela Jayawardena 98* v West Indies, Nuwan Kulasekera 3 for 4 v New Zealand, Ryan McLaren 5 for 19 v West Indies, Brendon McMcllum 116* v Australia, Eoin Morgan 85* v South Africa, Nehemiah Odhiambo 5 for 20 v Scotland, Ellyse Perry 3 for 18 v New Zealand Women, Suresh Raina 101 v South Africa and Darren Sammy 5 for 26 v Zimbabwe
Women's Cricketer of the Year: Suzie Bates, Nicola Browne, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Devine, Jhulan Goswami, Lydia Greenway, Sarah McGlashan, Shelley Nitschke, Ellyse Perry, Laura Poulton, Mithali Raj, Gouher Sultana and Stafanie Taylor
Umpire of the Year: Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar, Steve Davis, Asoke de Silva, Billy Doctrove, Marais Erasmus, Ian Gould, Tony Hill, Daryl Harper, Rudi Koertzen, Asad Rauf, Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker