September 7, 2004

ICC announces official World XI Test Team of the Year

The ICC today announced its official World XI Test Team of the Year, as chosen by the specially-appointed five-man selection panel chaired by cricketing great Richie Benaud.

The announcement was made at the ICC Awards celebration at Alexandra Palace in London. Presented by Hyundai in association with FICA, the ICC Awards recognise the best international players of the past 12 months.

The World XI Test Team of the Year (in batting order) is:

1. Matthew Hayden
2. Herschelle Gibbs
3. Ricky Ponting (captain)
4. Rahul Dravid
5. Brian Lara
6. Jacques Kallis
7. Adam Gilchrist
8. Chaminda Vaas
9. Shane Warne
10. Jason Gillespie
11. Stephen Harmison

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was named captain of the World XI Test Team of the Year, capping off a special night for the 29-year-old after he was also named captain of the World XI ODI Team of the Year.

Ponting said: "This is a great recognition of the hard work and dedication these guys put into their cricket, not just this year but throughout their careers."

Ponting was one of six players to be named in both World XI teams, along with Australian team mates Adam Gilchrist and Jason Gillespie, South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, West Indies captain Brian Lara and Sri Lankan fast bowler Chaminda Vaas.

England fast bowler Steve Harmison was named to lead the pace bowling attack with Gillespie and Vaas, with Shane Warne selected as the first-choice spinner.

Commenting on the team selection, ICC Awards Selection Panel Chairman Richie Benaud said:

"As a group, we deliberated for some time about the balance of the team - it was no easy task. We considered the players' performances and the strength or otherwise of the competition these individuals faced over the course of the year.

"Then we approached the statistical side of things and again the competitive nature of matches came under scrutiny. The aim was to produce a well-balanced eleven able to win matches played on a good cricket pitch.

"As is always the case with only eleven positions to be filled, there will be disappointments. Shane Warne came back and made an immediate impact with 36 wickets in just five games, and deserved his place as the first spinner; leading wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan was unlucky.

"So too Virender Sehwag, having scored India's only triple-century.

"Our view is that every member of the World XI Test Team is thoroughly deserving of his place."

The World XI Test Team of the Year was chosen by the ICC's specially-appointed expert selection panel comprising Richie Benaud (Chairman), Ian Botham, Sunil Gavaskar, Michael Holding and Barry Richards using their knowledge, judgment and expert opinion.

Test statistics for the 11 players during the voting period were:

M Inns NO Runs Av S/R H/S 100s 50s
Rahul Dravid (Ind) 9 16 3 1241 95.46 53.12 270 3 4
Adam Gilchrist (Aus) 11 18 2 545 34.06 85.38 144 2 1
Matthew Hayden (Aus) 11 21 2 1523 80.16 75.58 380 6 4
Jacques.Kallis (SAf) 12 22 3 1354 71.26 50.5 177 5 4
Brian Lara (WI) 13 23 1 1481 67.32 62.41 400* 5 3
Ricky Ponting (Aus) 10 19 2 1230 72.35 59.33 257 3 4
Herschelle Gibbs (SAf) 13 13 2 1349 64.24 192 4 6

M Balls Runs W Av S/R Econ Best 5wi
Jason Gillespie (Aus) 9 2156 961 32 30.03 67.38 2.24 4/65 0
Steve Harmison (Eng) 11 2834 1207 61 19.79 46.46 2.56 7/12 3
Jacques Kallis (SAf) 12 2043 1041 26 40.04 78.58 3.06 6/54 1
Shane Warne 5 1611 801 36 22.25 44.75 2.97 5/43 4
Chaminda Vaas 10 2221 1043 37 28.19 60.03 2.13 5/31 1