Chanderpaul: Cricketer of the Year

The West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was named as the 2008 International Cricket Council Cricketer of the Year.

Cricket - West Indies v Australia - Test Series Second Test - Antigua - St. Johns - 2/6/08

West Indies Shivnarine Chanderpaul in action batting

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The West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was named as the 2008 International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricketer of the Year at an awards ceremony in Dubai today. The 34-year-old left-hander, a mainstay of his side's batting for over a decade, became the fifth player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, named after the legendary West Indies all-rounder, ahead of his three fellow nominees ? the Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, the South Africa skipper Graeme Smith and the Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn. During the voting period, the gritty Guyanese played eight Test matches, scoring 819 runs at an average of 91.00, including three centuries and six fifties, all of which were against the top seven teams in the world. "I am honoured to be given this prestigious award tonight and I am very thankful to God for blessing me with the talent that I have," Chanderpaul said upon receiving his award. "I would like to thank my family ? in particular my wife Amy ? for their constant support over the years. "A special thank you goes out to my manager, my agent and all my supporters in the Caribbean and throughout the world. It's also important that I thank my teammates without whom this wouldn't have been possible... I am thrilled to have won." Chanderpaul, who follows India's Rahul Dravid, all-rounders Andrew Flintoff of England and Jacques Kallis of South Africa, the joint winners in 2005, and two-time ICC Cricketer of the Year Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, in taking the award, also played 13 ODIs during the voting period. He finished top of the averages with 74.75 having scored 598 runs, a haul that included a century and five fifties. He is currently ranked number one in the ICC Test batting rankings and sixth in the list for ODI batsmen. "Shivnarine has been a rock in the West Indies batting line-up for many years and he thoroughly deserves this award," said the ICC president David Morgan. "His contribution to the game has been immense and he epitomises the sort of dedication, bravery and skill required to excel at the highest level." *AFP