James Fitzgerald is ICC Communications Officer
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Pakistan run machine Mohammad Yousuf was tonight named international cricket's Test Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Johannesburg.
The 33-year-old from Lahore topped the poll ahead of England's Kevin Pietersen and last year's winner Ricky Ponting of Australia to scoop the award.
A thrilled Yousuf said: "This is the first time for a Pakistan player to win this award so I am particularly delighted with that. Thanks to Allah, my Pakistan team-mates. I want to thank the ICC panel for voting for me."
During the ODI-dominated voting period of 9 August 2006 to 8 August 2007, Yousuf played six Tests. In that time he scored 944 runs at an average of 94.40 including five centuries and two fifties in just 10 innings.
Yousuf is the fourth recipient of the Test Player of the Year award following on from Ponting last year, Jacques Kallis of South Africa in 2005 and India's Rahul Dravid in 2004.
The Test Player of the Year was one of 11 individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented in association with FICA (the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations). The event, held at the Sandton Convention Centre, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period.
Voting for the Test 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 several other legends of the game and respected members of the media.
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 1.2kg, is 30cm high and 11cm in width.