The Cricinfo Awards January 30, 2008

Cricinfo names top performers of 2007

Cricinfo staff

Kumar Sangakkara's 192 came out on top of all the Test innings of 2007 in the Cricinfo Awards © Getty Images
Three Indians, two Sri Lankans and an Australian have been named as the winners in the inaugural Cricinfo Awards, which recognise the outstanding batting and bowling performances in all three forms of the game during 2007.

Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's No. 3, takes the Test batting prize for his 192 against Australia in Hobart. "I have always thought that he is a class player, and he proved that on the tour of Australia. His 192 in the second Test was a magnificent innings," said Ian Chappell, one of the jury members who voted on the awards.

The Test bowling award went to Zaheer Khan for his 5 for 75 in the second Test against England at Trent Bridge. It proved the decisive performance of the series as India went on to claim the contest 1-0 after Zaheer inspired them to victory at Trent Bridge. Geoff Boycott, another jury member, was full of praise for the effort: "It was a really gritty performance by Zaheer Khan, and the Indians will thank him for the memorable victory at Trent Bridge, and that allowed India to go on and win an exciting series".

Ramiz Raja said it was spell of immense skill from Zaheer and built huge pressure on England. "What was eye catching about the spell was the use of the crease and the angle that he developed to remain on top of the opposition. It was a masterclass from Zaheer Khan and he richly deserves the award"

Adam Gilchrist, fresh from announcing his retirement, takes away the one-day batting title for his monumental 149 in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka. With the ball, the prize goes to Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lanka quick bowler, for his electric display against South Africa when he claimed four wickets in four balls to almost pull off a remarkable victory in Guyana.

Twenty20 took the world by storm in 2007 and both of its prizes go to members of the India side that claimed the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa. Yuvraj Singh takes the batting honour for his destructive 70 off 30 balls against Australia in the semi-final in Durban - during a tournament where he also struck six sixes in an over off England's Stuart Broad.

Twenty20 isn't meant to be a game for the bowlers but there were some memorable efforts during the year and RP Singh, the left-arm swing bowler, came out top of the list for his decisive 4 for 13 against South Africa in Durban.

"Cricket awards are commonplace, but to us at Cricinfo they are a logical and inevitable extension of what we are about," Sambit Bal, editor of Cricinfo said. "We cover every ball bowled in cricket, and we see ourselves as cricket's global voice. We have in our ranks some of the finest cricket writers and keenest cricket minds drawn from all over the world.

"The Cricinfo Awards are a celebration of the best performances in the calendar year 2007, and even though they carry no monetary rewards, we are confident that cricketers will value the acclaim."

The lists of nominees, announced in December 2007, were compiled by Cricinfo's global staff. The winners were selected by a jury put together by Cricinfo for this purpose, which consisted of Geoffrey Boycott, Ian Chappell, Daryll Cullinan, Tony Greig, Michael Holding, David Lloyd, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ramiz Raja and Ravi Shastri. The final selection was based on a ranking of the performances by the jury, with the players who fetched the most points winning the respective awards. In the event of a tie, the player with the most top nominations was selected as the winner by the jury.

List of winners

Test batting - Kumar Sangakkara (SL): 192, Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Hobart
Test bowling - Zaheer Khan (Ind): 5 for 75, England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge
ODI batting - Adam Gilchrist (Aus): 149, Australia v Sri Lanka, World Cup final, Barbados
ODI bowling - Lasith Malinga (SL): 4 for 54, Sri Lanka v South Africa, World Cup, Guyana
Twenty20 batting - Yuvraj Singh (Ind): 70, India v Australia, World Twenty20 semi-final, Durban
Twenty20 bowling - RP Singh (Ind): 4 for 13, India v South Africa, World Twenty20, Durban