South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis was tonight named international cricket's Test Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Sydney.
Kallis was the runaway winner of the award, polling almost three times as many votes as the runner-up, Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath.
ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said: "On behalf of the ICC, I would like to congratulate Jacques on winning this award, which recognises his prolific year.
"It was a year in which Jacques Kallis was one of the most sought-after wickets in Test cricket, a fact reflected by his outstanding statistics.
"The fact this award was voted for by Jacques' peers and colleagues shows the high regard in which he is held by them and he is a worthy winner."
During the voting period of 1 August 2004 to 31 July 2005, Kallis played 15 Tests.
He was comfortably the most prolific batsman in the world during that time, with 1497 runs at 71.28, including six hundreds, the most by any player, and a total of 14 scores of 50 or more.
With the ball, he took 20 Test wickets and, usually to be found in the slip cordon, he pouched 16 catches during the voting period.
The award formed part of an excellent night for Kallis as he was also selected as twelfth man for the ODI Team of the Year.
Kallis is the second recipient of the Test Player of the Year award following on from India's Rahul Dravid in 2004.
The Test Player of the Year was one of eight individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented by Hyundai in association with FICA.
The event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period.
Voting for the Test Player of the Year was completed by the 50-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 25 legends of the game and respected members of the media. -more-
The top three players in the poll were:
1. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) - 115 votes
2. Glenn McGrath (Australia) - 41 votes
3. Shane Warne (Australia) - 29 votes
Kallis received the trophy from Rahul Dravid.
The other original nominees for the award were Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brian Lara of the West Indies, Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Danish Kaneria of Pakistan, Australia's Damien Martyn, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh of India and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka.
The trophy, produced by Swarovski, features a crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, cusped in a hand which extends from an aluminium base. The hand represents the theme of "breaking through" in pursuit of excellence.
The trophy features a red crystal ball, weighs 1.2 kilograms, is 30 centimetres high and 11 centimetres in width.