Shiv in line for top ICC awards

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- West Indies batting stalwart Shivnarine Chanderpaul is one of four players nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy when the International Cricket Council (ICC) holds its fifth annual awards ceremony on Wednesday night in Dubai. The prestigious award goes to the Cricketer of the Year.

The sensational left-hander, who had an amazing year with the bat, has also been nominated for the Test Cricketer of the Year award. West Indies captain Chris Gayle has been nominated for the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year, while the West Indies team has been nominated for the Spirit of Cricket award.

Chanderpaul, who turned 34 three weeks ago, had a bumper year scoring 247 runs in three Tests in South Africa; 130 runs in two Tests against Sri Lanka; and rounding off the Digicel Home Series 2008 with 442 at an average of 147.33 against Australia. During that period he rose to be Number One in the ICC batting rankings.

His heroics also took him to 8001 runs in 112 Tests – fourth on the all-time West Indies list behind legends: Brian Lara, Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers.

His brilliance overflowed into the One-Day format when he hit an amazing last-ball six to help West Indies win the second One-Dayer against Sri Lanka in Trinidad and with the victory took the Digicel ODI Series 2-0. In the summer of 2007 he was equally brilliant hitting 446 runs in three Tests at an average 148.66 in England. Earlier this year he was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year.

West Indies Head Coach John Dyson believes Chanderpaul’s dedication and commitment to the game are what lead to his amazing performances.

“His performances in both forms of the game were extraordinary and a just reward for the effort and dedication that Shiv applies to his game. He was the anchor of West Indies batting and would fully deserve either or both awards. He is a true inspiration and great role model for aspiring young cricketers,” Dyson said.

Also vying for the Cricketer of the Year award are: Mahela Jayawardena of Sri Lanka, and South Africans Graeme Smith and Dale Steyn. The other contenders for the Test Cricketer of the Year are: Jayawardena, Steyn and Jacques Kallis of South Africa.

Gayle’s was nominated for his breathtaking display of power hitting in the first ICC Twenty20 World Championship when he smashed 117 from 57 balls against South Africa – the first century in a T20 International. He will come up against Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India, Brett Lee of Australia and Indian allrounder Yuvraj Singh.

Cricketer of the Year: Shivnarine Chanderpaul Mahela Jayawardena, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn

Test Player of the Year: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mahela Jayawardena, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn

ODI Player of the Year: Nathan Bracken, Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Yousuf

Emerging Player of the Year: Stuart Broad, Ajantha Mendis, Morne Morkel, Ishant Sharma

Associate Player of the Year: Ryan ten Doeschate, Alex Obanda, Niall O’Brien, Thomas Odoyo

Twenty20 International Performance of the Year: Chris Gayle, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Brett Lee, Yuvraj Singh

Women’s Player of the Year: Nicola Browne, Charlotte Edwards, Lisa Sthalekar, Claire Taylor

Spirit of Cricket: Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies

Umpire of the Year: Mark Benson, Aleem Dar, Steve Davis, Rudi Koertzen, Simon Taufel