November 3, 2006

Ricky Ponting takes top honours at glittering ICC Awards night

Australian captain Ricky Ponting was tonight named Player of the Year at the prestigious ICC Awards, held at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai.

Ponting also scooped the Test Player of the Year and was named in the ICC World Team of the Year, as chosen by a panel of some of the greats of the game.

The 31-year-old Tasmanian has had an outstanding year with the bat, dominating at both Test and ODI level, and has also established himself as one of the most tactically aware and fearless captains in the world.

Ponting was joined on the winners' list by Australian team-mate Michael Hussey, who took the ODI Player of the Year award. England's Ian Bell was named Emerging Player of the Year, following the footsteps of team-mate Kevin Pietersen in 2005 and India's Irfan Pathan the year before.

Since last year's awards women's cricket has come under the auspices of the ICC and tonight Australian Karen Rolton became the first Women's Player of the Year. She beat India's Anjum Chopra and Katherin Brunt of England to that honour.

In total there were seven individual awards handed out, a Spirit of Cricket Award and the two ICC Teams of the Year - for Tests and ODIs - were announced.

Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene was named as Captain of the Year, having demonstrated wonderful leadership over the past year, particularly during his team's tour to England when they drew the Test series 1-1 and won all the ODIs.

England took the Spirit of Cricket Award for the second year running while it was a hat-trick for Simon Taufel who won the Umpire of the Year Award for the third successive year.

In all, there were ten individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented by Hyundai in association with FICA (the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations). The event, held at the Taj Lands End Hotel, Mumbai, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period. The event was hosted by TV cricket commentator Mark Nicholas and featured several glittering dance and music acts in this, the home of Bollywood, as well as a look back on another fantastic year for cricket.

Voting for the Test Player of the Year was completed by the 56-member ICC Awards voting Academy who cast a 3-2-1 vote (3 votes being the greater value) from the list of nominees, with the votes tallied to produce a winner.

The voting Academy included the 10 ICC Full Member captains, the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Referees, the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and several other legends of the game and respected members of the media.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said: "The past year has been another exciting one for cricket fans around the world and these players have contributed hugely to our enjoyment," said Mr Speed. "Congratulations to Ricky and all the other award winners."

Arvind Saxena, Vice-President of sales and marketing for Hyundai Motor India, said: "Hyundai is proud to be involved in this initiative, which celebrates excellence in international cricket. These players give us so much pleasure for their wonderful performances that it is right that we mark it in some tangible way. Just as Hyundai Motor stands for excellence in design, technology and safety the world over, the awards acknowledge and celebrate the very best in cricket."

Player of the Year Award
Ricky Ponting (Australia)

Test Player of the Year Award
Ricky Ponting (Australia)

ODI Player of the Year
Michael Hussey (Australia)

Women's Player of the Year
Karen Rolton (Australia)

Emerging Player of the Year
Ian Bell (England)

Captain of the Year Award
Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)

Spirit of Cricket Award

Umpire of the Year Award
Simon Taufel

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

Adam Gilchrist (Aus, wicketkeeper)
MS Dhoni (Ind)
Ricky Ponting (Aus)
Mahela Jayawardene (SL, captain)
Yuvraj Singh (Ind)
Michael Hussey (Aus)
Andrew Flintoff (Eng)
Irfan Pathan (Ind)
Brett Lee (Aus)
Shane Bond (NZ)
Muttiah Muralidaran (SL)
12th man: Andrew Symonds (Aus)

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

Matthew Hayden (Aus)
Michael Hussey (Aus)
Ricky Ponting (Aus)
Rahul Dravid (Ind, captain)
Mohammed Yousuf (Pak)
Kumar Sangakkara (SL, wicketkeeper)
Andrew Flintoff (Eng)
Shane Warne (Aus)
Makhaya Ntini (SA)
Muttiah Muralidaran (SL)
Glenn McGrath (Aus)
12th man: Brett Lee (Aus)