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Kevin Pietersen named as Emerging Player of the Year at ICC Awards

Big-hitting England batsman Kevin Pietersen was tonight named as Emerging Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Sydney

Kevin Pietersen © Getty Images
Big-hitting England batsman Kevin Pietersen was tonight named as Emerging Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Sydney. The 25 year-old batsman claimed the award after a sensational start to his international career.
During the voting period Pietersen played 21 ODI and a single Test - his debut - and enjoyed a spectacular level of success. The right-hander averaged 87.33 including three hundreds in the shortened form of the game and made two half-centuries in that one Test appearance.
ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said: "This award is a demonstration of the impact Kevin Pietersen has had on international cricket in his first year at the highest level.
"He has been prolific with the bat and, what is more, his runs have been scored in a style that has thrilled fans all over the world. Those runs and his approach to the game have marked him out as a true entertainer and a massive talent.
"His immense popularity with fans clearly extends to his peers and colleagues because it is they who have honoured him with this award through their votes."
All three of Pietersen's ODI hundreds came against South Africa, he made four other scores of 50 or more in his matches during the voting period, and his runs were made with a remarkable strike-rate of 99.49 runs per hundred balls.
That strike-rate was bettered by just two other frontline batsmen, Justin Kemp of South Africa and Australia's Adam Gilchrist, although neither man could boast a batting average even half as high as the England batsman.
Pietersen reached 500 ODI runs in 11 matches, a mark bettered by just three players - the England duo of Dennis Amiss and Allan Lamb and Roy Dias of Sri Lanka - in the history of the game.
His Test debut against Australia at Lord's in July 2005 - the only Test he played during the voting period - was another example of his talent.
Even though England lost the match by 239 runs, Pietersen made 57 and 64 not out, only the seventh time an England batsman has reached 50 in both innings of his debut Test and only the 31st time it had happened in all Test history.
Pietersen is the second recipient of the Emerging Player of the Year award following on from India's Irfan Pathan in 2004. -more-
The Emerging 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.
Voting for the Emerging 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.
The voting period for the award was from 1 August 2004 to 31 July 2005.
Players eligible for the award had to be under 26 years of age at the start of the voting period (1 August 2004) and have played no more than five Tests and/or 10 ODIs before that date.
The top three players in the poll were:
1. Kevin Pietersen (England) - 138 votes
2. AB de Villiers (South Africa) - 77 votes
3. Ian Bell (England) - 18 votes
The other original nominees for the award were Manjural Islam Rana and Aftab Ahmed of Bangladesh and India's Gautam Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik.
Pietersen received the trophy from Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan captain, fast bowler and member of the voting Academy.
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 clear crystal ball, weighs 1.2 kilograms, is 30 centimetres high and 11 centimetres in width.