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Dhoni and Yuvraj win ICC awards
The glittering ICC awards 2008 ceremony held in Dubai had great news for Indian cricket fans as Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and stylish southpaw Yuvraj Singh were awarded the ODI and the T20 Performer of the Year awards respectively.
SHIVNARINE CHANDERPAUL was adjudged Cricketer of the Year at the ICC awards 2008, ceremony held in Dubai. Chanderpaul had been in tremendous form in the past one year in both the Tests and the ODIs as he had scored four hundreds and eleven fifties in both the formats of the game in the concerned period. Not to forget his last two balls strokes of a six and a four against Sri Lanka to clinch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Chanderpaul was the fifth cricketer to be given this honour since the inception of the ICC Awards in the year 2004. Rahul Dravid was the first winner of this award whereas Andrew Flintoff and Jacques Kallis had shared this award an year later. Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting had won this award two years in succession from then on. Chanderpaul pipped Jayawardene, Dale Steyn and Graeme Smith for this award.

Dale Steyn was awarded the Test Player of the Year for his fiery bowling through out the year for his great bowling performances in West Indies, England, Pakistan as well as India. It was great to see a bowler winning an awardm, especially when the awards had been dominated by the batsman. Dale had pipped the likes of Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis and Chanderpaul for the award. Steyn had taken 86 wickets in the fourteen Test matches that he had played in this period.

Indian ODI and T20 captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was adjudged the ODI Player of the Year. Coming days after winning the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the ICC award would definitely be a confidence booster for the young batting sensation from Jharkhand. The other cricketers who were nominated in this category were Mohammad Yousuf, Nathan Bracken and Sachin Tendulkar.

Sri Lankan spinning sensation Ajantha Mendis was awarded the emerging talent award. Mendis though had not played too much of cricket in the interval had left a mark by foxing in the Indian batsmen in the tests as well as the ODI series lately. Even the great Muralitharan had come out in awe of the great spinner. Indian pace bowling sensation Ishant Sharma lost out in this category. The other nominations were Morne Morkel and Stuart Broad.

Yuvraj Singh did Indian fans proud by winning the T20 Performer of the Year. This award was for a single performance that had captured newspaper headlines in the new format of the game. Brett Lee had taken a hattrick against Bangladesh, Chris Gayle had blazed away to the fastest hundred in T20 against South Africa in the first match of the T20 World Cup and Mahendra Singh Dhoni had maintained a cool head as skipper through out the World Cup and was one of the driving forces behind India’s triumph of the T20 World Cup in South Africa, but the award went to Yuvraj Singh who hit a magical six sixes in an over of Stuart Broad against England. The feat of hitting six sixes had been done only once before in a limited overs international when Herschelle Gibbs had hit the Dutch leg spinner Bunge for six in a row. Ravi Shastri and Sir Gary Sobers had also achieved this feat in club cricket.

The award for the umpire of the year was awarded to Simon Taufel of Australia who won this award for the fifth year running. A tremendous achievement considering the tremendous pressure modern day umpires have to face these days.

Ryan Ten Doeschate, a dutch all rounder was awarded the Associate Player of the Year award. He had scored at an average of fifty and taken 35 wickets in just 19 ODIs for Essex this year.

Sri Lanka was awarded the spirit of cricket award with Bangladesh, New Zealand and West Indies just losing out. This was the second year in a row that Sri Lanka clinched this award. The ODI and the tests teams of the year were also announced. Graeme Smith was the Test captain of the year whereas Aussie Ricky Ponting was adjudged the ODI Captain of the Year. Virendra Sehwag made it to the Test eleven whereas Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni made it to the ODI Team of the Year. Brett Lee was the only cricketer to make it to both the ODI as well as the Test team.

The selection panel had consisted of former West Indies World Cup winning captain Clive Lloyd, Australian batting sensation and former Indian coach Greg Chappell, recently retired South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock, Sidath Wettimuny former Sri Lanka batsman and former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan.
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