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Hayden claims ODI Player of Year at the ICC Awards in Johannesburg

Australia's batting phenomenon Matthew Hayden was tonight named as the winner of the ODI Player of the Year in Johannesburg

James Fitzgerald
Australia's batting phenomenon Matthew Hayden was tonight named as the winner of the ODI Player of the Year in Johannesburg.
The hard-hitting opener has had an outstanding year in ODIs and played no small part in making sure his side took top honours at the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.
His dominance is shown in the statistics. He tops the averages with 62.18 in 26 matches, having scored 1,368 runs, more than anyone else during the voting period (9 August 2006 to 8 August 2007).
In that time he scored more centuries than any other ODI batsman (five) including a top score of 181 not out, and all with a strike-rate of 87.69 runs per hundred balls. He has been a colossus at the top of the order for Australia and with Adam Gilchrist he has formed one of the most dynamic opening partnerships in the history of ODI cricket.
Accepting his award, Hayden said: "It is a great honour for me to receive this award. It's not so long ago that my place in the side was far from certain so this is very pleasing for me.
"Batting with Adam Gilchrist is always fun. I suppose the style we adopt could be regarded as risky and it's definitely something we have talked about. For us it's not about fifties and hundreds. For teams like Australia scoring-rates are more important, getting the team off to a good start so that the guys coming in can make the most of it.
"It has been a great year for me and for the team so I am delighted to pick up this award."
ICC President Ray Mali said: "On behalf of the ICC I would like to congratulate Matthew on winning this award.
"Matthew has been one of the best batsmen in all forms of the game for many, many years and there can be no doubt that he deserves this award. It is amazing to think that not so long ago he had been briefly left out of the Australia one-day side. His performances at the ICC Cricket World Cup, in particular, were outstanding and his ability to perform when it matters most is crucial."
Hayden beat off the challenge of team-mates Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath to secure the award. He is the fourth recipient of this award. Last year, his team-mate Michael Hussey took the award, England's Kevin Pietersen took the honour in 2005 and in 2004 it went to Pietersen's England colleague Andrew Flintoff.
Hayden was presented the award by former Pakistan batsman and respected commentator Rameez Raja.
The ODI Player of the Year was one of 11 individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented in association with FICA. The event, held at the Sandton Convention Centre, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period.
Voting for the ODI Player of the Year was completed by the 56-member ICC Awards voting Academy who cast a 3-2-1 vote (three 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 many other legends of the game and respected members of the media.
Hayden received the trophy from former Pakistan batsman Rameez Raja.
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 white crystal ball, weighs 1.2kg, is 30cm high and 11cm in width.

James Fitzgerald is ICC Communications Officer