Yuvraj wins Twenty20 award

India's flamboyant batsman, Yuvraj Singh, became the inaugural winner of the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year Award, in recognition of his amazing six sixes in one over during last September's ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa.
This new award highlights the most impressive performances by players in Twenty20 Internationals during the 12-month voting period and it marks the advent of this exciting new format of the game at international level.

On September 19, 2007, during a match against England in Durban, Yuvraj smashed every delivery of the 19th over - bowled by Stuart Broad - beyond the boundary rope, in the process registering a 12-ball half-century and putting his team on course for victory.

It was the first time a player had hit six sixes in a single Twenty20 International over. Herschelle Gibbs did it in an ODI during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, while Garry Sobers became the first batsman to achieve the feat during a first-class match back in 1968.

According to the voting academy, Yuvraj's effort was the most impressive performance of the past 12 months. It beat off competition from his team-mate, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led his team to victory in the same tournament; Chris Gayle of West Indies, who scored 117 off just 57 balls against the hosts, South Africa, in the opening match in Johannesburg; and Australia's Brett Lee, who became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the event, against Bangladesh in Cape Town.

After collecting his award from Sri Lanka's former World Cup-winning captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, Yuvraj said: "For me it was very important just to get nominated. There were other great performances during the past year. For example Chris Gayle's innings in the World Twenty20 was fantastic. I am very happy to collect this award and I would like to congratulate the other players who were nominated alongside me.

"It's very important for any player to get his performance recognised. You play hard and you like to think people see that and get something out of it. I would like to thank the ICC for recognising the performances of the players - it's an important aspect of the year for us.

"After the fifth six in that over I remember having butterflies in my stomach and I knew that if I managed to hit it for six it would be very special. It was a great feeling when I saw the ball go over the boundary."

The Twenty20 International Performance of the Year Award was one of eight individual prizes given at this year's ICC Awards - presented in association with FICA - which are based on the 12 months between August 9, 2007 and August 12, 2008.

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).