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September 10, 2008
South Africa's strike bowler, Dale Steyn, has won the Test Player of the Year award at the ICC Awards ceremony in Dubai.
Steyn beat off short-list competition from Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies and Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene, as well as his South Africa team-mate, Jacques Kallis, to win the first ICC Award of his career.
During the 12-month voting period, Steyn put in some remarkable performances, taking 86 wickets at an average of just 18.10 in the 14 Test matches he played. No other bowler took more than 58 wickets in the same period and he was the only bowler to earn an average less than 21.50 (of those who played more than three matches).
Steyn, 25, who comes from Phalaborwa in the northern province of Limpopo, also had the best strike-rate with a wicket every 31.9 deliveries and he boasted two 10-wicket matches and six five-wicket innings.
After collecting his award from the former West Indies captain and current chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee, Clive Lloyd, Steyn said: "I have had a pretty decent year I suppose but I didn't think about winning this award until the past few days. I don't really know how I feel. Perhaps tomorrow morning it will have sunk in for me because obviously this is a huge award and it's massive for me.
"What I would like to do is maybe turn it into a goal for the future. I would like to win this award again and maybe other awards too so it would be something to aim for.
"I am really enjoying my cricket at the moment - we have been involved in a few great series recently so I count myself as lucky to be a part of this South Africa team.
"It's a good time for South African cricket even though we lost four one-day matches in England. Winning this award makes up a little for that but I am still going home knowing we were beaten in the one-dayers. But we have some new faces coming into the one-day side and we are still very positive for the future."
The Test Player of the Year Award was one of eight individual prizes given at this year's LG ICC Awards. Steyn also featured on the ICC Test Team of the Year as picked by the ICC selection panel.
The panel was chaired by Lloyd and included former Australia captain Greg Chappell, recently retired South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock, former Sri Lanka opener Sidath Wettimuny and former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan.
The ceremony is now in its fifth year and this is the first time it has been staged in Dubai, the home of the International Cricket Council. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006) and Johannesburg (2007).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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