<
>

ICC cuts awards shortlists

The shortlists for the ICC Awards has been narrowed down, with the top Indian players falling out of the race. Rahul Dravid, who won the inaugural award for Test Player and Player of the Year last season, fell out of the reckoning.

Also slipping out of the running are Dravid's team-mates Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh who were all nominated in the Test Player of the Year category. Dinesh Karthik remained the lone Indian hope in the Emerging Player of Year section after the ICC pruned the list of nominations.

"Of course I am disappointed. But then we have not had many matches this season, obviously performance matters," Kumble told a media conference to announce the shortlist. "Personally I can do only what I can do, selection is not in my control."

Andrew Flintoff remains in contention for the ODI Player of the Year award, which he won last year, while also being nominated for the Player of the Year award. Adam Gilchrist still features in three categories while Shane Warne, Test cricket's leading wicket-taker, remains in the running for Test Player award.

Besides the players' awards, there would also be team awards for Test and ODI teams of the year and Spirit of Cricket Award. The ICC Awards will be announced in Sydney on October 11 in between the Super Series ODIs and Test match.

Kumble denied the upcoming Super Series would have lost a bit of sheen following Australia's defeat in the Ashes series. "I don't think so. Playing Australia in Australia is a tough proposition, they are still a good side. All the matches in Ashes were close, they will come back stronger."

Kumble said matches involving multi-national teams had their value. "It is an occasion to celebrate cricket itself. A player won't get another opportunity to play in a World XI. You are playing the very best and it is an opportunity to showcase your talent. It is also a totally different feeling to have those you have played against in the same dressing room."

The shortlist of nominations for ICC Awards

Player of the Year Andrew Flintoff, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Inzamam-ul Haq and Jacques Kallis

Test Player Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Inzamam-ul Haq, Jacques Kallis

ODI Player Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds

Emerging Player Aftab Ahmed, Ian Bell, Dinesh Karthik, Kevin Pietersen and AB de Villiers