Ricky Ponting accepts the award for the ICC Cricketer of the Year, Johannesburg, September 10, 2007 © Getty Images|
Australia's Ricky Ponting was named ICC Cricketer of the Year for the second year running at the ICC Awards in Johannesburg tonight.
Ponting was the winner after the ballots from the 56-member ICC Awards Voting Academy were tallied, thus adding the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy to the award for Captain of the Year, won earlier in the evening.
Ponting was also named on both the ICC ODI and Test Teams of the Year which were selected by a five-man ICC selection panel led by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and also including Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand all-rounder, ex-South Africa batsman Gary Kirsten, Iqbal Qasim, the former Pakistan left-arm spinner, and ex-England captain Alec Stewart.
On winning the award, Ponting said: "It's more of an eventful night that I thought it would be and I am honoured. It's a great thrill for me and something I am very proud of. It's a great achievement and something I will probably look back on this in years to come with a lot of pride.
"I am the first player to win this award twice in a row and maybe if I keep my head down there might be more around the corner.
"I was happy with the way I have gone about things during the past year and I think we have lifted ourselves to a new level as a team. It has been an unbelievable 12 months of cricket and we should all be very proud with what we have achieved."
Ponting received the award from ICC President Ray Mali as the finale to the prestigious awards ceremony.
Mr Mali said: "These awards are about excellence and I can think of few cricketers who have demonstrated genuine excellence through their careers more than Ricky Ponting.
"He has a huge amount of natural talent but through hard work, desire and dedication he is making the most of that ability. And as a captain he has been remarkably successful in all forms of the game.
"He is a deserving winner of this award and the fact that he has won it for the second year running shows the level of consistency that he is putting in time after time for his country."
The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy 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, Johannesburg, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period.
Voting for the Cricketer 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.
The other short-listed nominees for the award were Mohammad Yousuf and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. This is the second year running that Ponting has scooped the top award. In 2005, the award was shared by Andrew Flintoff of England and South Africa's Jacques Kallis while in 2004 the top award went to Rahul Dravid of India.
James Fitzgerald is ICC Communications Officer