Sri Lankan cricketer-turned umpire wins award for the first time
Umpire Kumar Dharmasena has won the David Shepherd Trophy for first time after being named ICC Umpire of the Year at the LG ICC Awards in Colombo tonight.
Dharmasena, 41, received the award following the voting by the 10 Test Full Member captains as well as the seven-man Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.
The Sri Lankan was judged on his decision statistics and officiating skills during the past 12 months.
It is the first time the Sri Lankan has received the ICC award, which was renamed in 2010 after the late England umpire David Shepherd.
Dharmasena accepted his award from Graham Gooch and said: “This award means a lot to me, after playing cricket for 12 years. It’s for the Sri Lankan umpires and the community who looked after my growth. Honestly, I feel I had a great year on and off the field and I feel having been a cricketer has helped me with my decision making as an umpire and to give better decisions.
“This is one of the best awards I could have got as an individual as I only joined the Elite Panel a year ago, it’s a really honour.”
The Sri Lankan faced strong competition from his colleagues on the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires Billy Bowden, Rodney Tucker, Richard Kettleborough, five-time winner Simon Taufel and three-time ICC Umpire of the Year Aleem Dar.
Dharmasena, who made his international debut as an umpire in 2009, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in May 2011.
In the voting period he stood in seven Tests and 13 ODIs.
Prior to umpiring, Dharmasena represented Sri Lanka in 31 Test matches and 141 ODIs and was part of Sri Lanka’s 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup winning side.
Based on the period between 4 August 2011 and 6August 2012, the LG ICC Awards 2012 take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.
For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Spirit of Cricket Award and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to a 32-person Voting Academy made up of former players, respected members of the media, an elite umpire and an elite match referee.
They voted on a three, two, one basis (with three being the highest value) and the winners emerged.
That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012 held in the UAE, the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh in 2011, various rounds of the ICC Intercontinental Cup, as well as numerous Pepsi ICC World Cricket League and Championship fixtures, plus several bilateral Test and ODI series.
The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its ninth year and this year it will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004 and 2011), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).