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Virender Sehwag, Jerome Taylor, Sachin Tendulkar, Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle and Umar Gul are the winners of the ESPNcricinfo Awards for 2009.
This is the third edition of the awards, which are voted on by a jury of former cricket writers, commentators and ESPNcricinfo's senior editors. Shortlists for the batting and bowling performances in each of the three international formats were announced in January.
Test batting performance of the year: Virender Sehwag 293 vs Sri Lanka, Mumbai
Test bowling performance of the year: Jerome Taylor 5 for 11 vs England, Kingston
ODI batting performance of the year: Sachin Tendulkar 175 vs Australia, Hyderabad
ODI bowling performance of the year: Shahid Afridi 6 for 38 vs Australia, Dubai
T20I batting performance of the year: Chris Gayle 88 vs Australia, World T20, The Oval
T20I bowling performance of the year: Umar Gul 5 for 6 vs New Zealand, World T20, The Oval
Readers' choice awards: Umar Gul overwhelming favourite in readers' voting
Test batting performance of the year: A Napier marathon, two London corkers
Test bowling performance of the year: Comeback kings and a last kiss goodbye
ODI batting performance of the year: The highest score, and the Tendulkar of old
ODI bowling performance of the year: The Mills and Bolly Show
T20I batting performance of the year: Clobberers united
T20I bowling performance of the year: Scrooges of the short form
The ESPNcricinfo Awards have two components: the performance awards, described above, and the Statsguru Awards, based on hard statistical data. The choice of winners in the Statsguru Awards go beyond runs scored, wickets taken or batting average, and are based on detailed data analyses of performances in 2009. Among the winners: Gautam Gambhir, who was Batsman of the Year, based on a score arrived at by adding Test batting average to ODI batting index (batting average multiplied by strike rate) and Test Batsman of the Year. Sehwag was the ODI Batsman of the Year. The bowling awards went to Stuart Broad (Bowler of the Year), Mitchell Johnson (Test Bowler) and James Anderson (ODI Bowler). Other Statsguru Awards winners included Shane Watson (Most Consistent Test Batsman), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Most Runs in Test Wins), and Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder (ODI Opening Batting Pair of the Year).
ESPNcricinfo users were invited to vote on the shortlists for the jury awards, and their picks mirrored the jury's in every category but one - T20I batting, where a majority picked Tillakaratne Dilshan's unbeaten 96 in the semi-final of the World Twenty20.
Players from India and England led the nominations for the jury awards this year. Nine performances from each of those two teams featured across the six shortlists, followed by Pakistan with eight, Australia with seven, Sri Lanka and New Zealand with six apiece, West Indies with five, and South Africa with three. The awards were evenly shared between three teams - Pakistan, India and West Indies, who each accounted for two awards.
Sambit Bal, editor of ESPNcricinfo, said that the awards are a small way to show gratitude to the people the site owes its existence to. "2009 was a great example of how all the three forms can co-exist. There was an exciting World Twenty20, a tight and well-contested Champions Trophy, and some wonderful Test cricket. Consequently, the jury had a lot to choose from."