Thursday, September 11, 2008

Smith leads Test Team of Year

Graeme Smith has been named as captain of the ICC's World Test Team of the Year, as chosen by a specially appointed independent selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend, Clive Lloyd.

The announcement was made at the ICC Awards celebration at The Westin Hotel, Dubai, and the team, in batting order, is as follows:

Graeme Smith (SA, capt)
Virender Sehwag (Ind)
Mahela Jayawardene (SL)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI)
Kevin Pietersen (Eng)
Jacques Kallis (SA)
Kumar Sangakkara (SL, wk)
Brett Lee (Aus)
Ryan Sidebottom (Eng)
Dale Steyn (SA)
Muttiah Muralitharan (SL)
12th man: Stuart Clark (Aus)

Six countries are represented in the 12-man line-up and three players - Kevin Pietersen of England and the Sri Lanka pair of Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan - also appeared in the World Test Team of the Year in 2007. Indeed, Sangakkara and Muralitharan featured in 2006 as well.

Lloyd, the chairman of the selection panel, said it was a very difficult task in selecting this year's Test team, but that looking at the line-up he felt it had great balance and depth.

Lloyd was joined on the panel by former Australia captain Greg Chappell, the recently retired South Africa allrounder Shaun Pollock, the former Sri Lanka opener, Sidath Wettimuny and the former Bangladesh batsman, Athar Ali Khan. Statistics were available as a guide but were not necessarily the overwhelming factor in the choices made.

The Test Team of the Year was one of two teams selected by the ICC selection panel along with the ODI line-up. There were also eight individual prizes given at this year's LG ICC Awards.

The LG ICC Awards 2008 - presented in association with FICA - are based on the 12 months between August 9, 2007 and August 12, 2008. The ICC Awards ceremony is now in its fifth year and this is the first time it has been staged in Dubai, the home of the International Cricket Council. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006) and Johannesburg (2007).

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