Cricket Oscars

My picks for the emerging player, test player, ODI player and player of the year awards were Pieterson, Kallis, Pieterson and McGrath. Three out of four is not bad. I wanted a bowler (McGrath) to win the player of the year award, but apparently the voters were not thinking on the same lines.

Kallis and Flintoff were named joint players of the year with 86 votes each (McGrath got only 39). I'm not sure if Flintoff deserved to get so many votes. He might be a strong contender for next year (with all the Ashes glory), but I would definitely put Kallis, McGrath and Glichrist ahead of him for this year. If the voters were looking to vote for an all-rounder, Glichrist should have been their pick - he had a much better all-round performance in both forms of the game. I just think the voters breathed a bit too much into the post-ashes-freddie-mania and succumbed to it.

Simon Taufel won the best umpire award again this year (that should have been easy - he is easily the best of the lot). England won the "Spirit of Cricket" award (New Zealand won it last year). The "Spirit of the Cricket" award is selected by an elite panel of Umpires and Referees and the captains of the ten Test teams - given the history between Match Referees and Indian Cricketers, it would be a while before India gets the award.

The ICC also announced its World ODI and Test Teams of the Year (chosen by Sunil Gavaskar and co. - the same party which selected the Rest of the World Teams for the Super Series) and the selectors seem to have got both the teams right this time.

ICC Test Team of the Year :
Virender Sehwag, Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting (capt), Jacques Kallis, Brian Lara, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Andrew Flintoff, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Shane Warne, Chaminda Vaas, Glenn McGrath. 12th man: Anil Kumble.

Dravid (lost to Ponting for the No.3 slot), Pollock, Boucher (had to make way for Glichrist), Harmison, Akhtar, Muralitharan and Vettori - members of the Test side playing in the Super Series do not find a place in the Team of the Year. Chaminda Vaas (should have been in the Super Series squad in both forms of the game) gets an entry into the XI and Anil Kumble (who was very disappointed at being left out of the Super Series squad) gets to be the 12th man (and Warne's backup).

ICC ODI Team of the Year : Marvan Atapattu (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Andrew Flintoff, Andrew Symonds, Daniel Vettori, Brett Lee, Naved-ul-Hasan, Glenn McGrath. 12th man: Jacques Kallis.

Sehwag, Pollock, Gayle, Lara, Sangakkara, Afridi, Akhtar, Ntini and Muralitharan - from the World side which played in the Super Series ODI leg last week are the missing names. There is no Ponting. Atapattu comes in as the skipper. Inzamam gets an ODI spot - he (nor Multan) can complain now. Naved-ul-Hasan gets the fourth seamer spot and this is an apt reward to his splendid performances in the past year (He should have been picked ahead of Akhtar for the Super Series).

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