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Pietersen scoops ODI Player of the Year at ICC Awards

England's new batting sensation Kevin Pietersen was tonight named as the runaway winner of the ODI Player of the Year in Sydney

Kevin Pietersen © Getty Images
England's new batting sensation Kevin Pietersen was tonight named as the runaway winner of the ODI Player of the Year in Sydney.
The big-hitting Pietersen polled almost twice as many votes as his closest rival, England team-mate Andrew Flintoff.
Pietersen's success continued a tremendous night for the 25 year-old, who was earlier named as Emerging Player of the Year.
Accepting his award, Pietersen said: "It's been a whirlwind, the last 12 months. I'm just thrilled to be here, and I thank all the people that have helped me in achieving this success."
ICC President Ehsan Mani said: "On behalf of the ICC I would like to congratulate Kevin on winning this award.
"Kevin's brand of aggressive batting thrilled crowds and television audiences alike and his success is reflected in the number of votes he finished ahead of his nearest rival in the poll.
"His performances clearly made an impact on his peers and colleagues because it was they that voted for this award. Kevin is a worthy winner."
During the voting period Pietersen played 21 one-day internationals and enjoyed a spectacular level of success.
In those matches he scored 786 runs at an average of 87.33 with three hundreds, all against South Africa, and four other scores of 50 or more and those runs were made with a remarkable strike-rate of 99.49 runs per hundred balls.
Pietersen's strike-rate during the voting period 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 is the second recipient of the ODI Player of the Year award following on from Flintoff in 2004.
The ODI 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.
The event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period.
Voting for the ODI 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.
The top three players in the poll were:
1. Kevin Pietersen (England) - 91 votes
2. Andrew Flintoff (England) - 52 votes
3. Andrew Symonds (Australia) - 26 votes
The other original nominees for the award were India's Rahul Dravid, Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs and Justin Kemp of South Africa, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana and Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan, Australia's Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Adam Gilchrist, and Ricky Ponting, New Zealand's Daniel Vettori, Kumar Sangakkara and Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka and England's Marcus Trescothick.
Pietersen received the trophy from Sunil Gavaskar, the former India captain, opening batsman, member of the voting Academy and Chairman of the ICC Awards Selection Panel.
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 1.2 kilograms, is 30 centimetres high and 11 centimetres in width.