01 September 2012

Michael Clarke in the spotlight for the ICC Awards

I will be doing a write-up of the current ODI series against Pakistan come the end of the action as to get a good overview with the overall performance from both sides. A convincing win by Pakistan last night has created a tense final encounter which will be eagerly awaited.

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The 2012 ICC Awards are upon us and we have another year with limited Australian cricketers in the mix but the good news is that a few players have been acknowledged for their performances and have been nominated. That is always something to be proud of.

Our captain Michael Clarke is in the spotlight after a sensational year for us, not only with his batting performances, but also his transition to full time captain and his overall leadership which has been outstanding and actually very inspiring.

As a result of his leadership and attacking tactical mind he has been named captain of the ICC Test Team of the Year. Congrats must be given to Dale Steyn being selected for the unofficial side 5 years in a row.

ICC Test Team of the Year 2011-12: 
Alastair Cook, Hashim Amla, Kumar Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis, Michael Clarke (capt), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Saeed Ajmal, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers (12th man)

Clarkey has also been nominated for ICC Test and ICC Cricketer of the Year, having stacked up 1,355 runs in 14 Tests at an average of 58.91. This includes that glorious triple century against India at the SCG and a double century at the Adelaide Oval. Overall this includes 5 centuries. Remarkable performance leading his side.

Taken by Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images
He will be up against Kumar Sangakarra, Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander. It is too hard to guess the winner. I am backing Clarkey all the way but having seen all of the above players during the nomination period it is safe to say it is going to be a tough decision to make.

I don't think Philander will take it. Despite his phenomenal figures for a medium paced bowler in his short career span, the other contestants have also performed in other forms of the game with exceptional class which will boost their credibility.

Clarkey also scored 759 runs at an average of 50.60 during the nomination period with a century in 19 ODIs. Sangakarra has good stats to his name but has played 37 ODIs while Hashim Amla has only played 8 and scored 419 runs at 52.37.

We lacked nominees for ODI and T20 cricket but James Pattinson has been for ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year. Exciting news for Jamo and I reckon he's in with a good chance but it's hard to overlook Sunil Narine, who has added a neat X factor to the West Indian side, especially in limited overs cricket.

Alyssa Healy and Lisa Sthalekar have been nominated for ICC Women's T20 Cricketer of the Year.

The Awards will take place on 15 September, just before the ICC World T20 begins in Sri Lanka.

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