India one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the ODI Player of the Year award at the LG ICC Awards ceremony in Dubai.
Dhoni beat off tough competition from team-mate Sachin Tendulkar, Australia fast bowler Nathan Bracken and Pakistan stalwart Mohammad Yousuf to take the prestigious award.
During the voting period, Dhoni played 39 ODIs and scored 1,298 runs at an average of 49.92 and at a rate of 82.46 runs per 100 balls faced. In that time he hit a century and nine fifties making sure he led his team from the front.
Also in that time, wicketkeeper Dhoni captured 62 dismissals (46 catches and 16 stumpings), which is almost twice as many as the next best, albeit having played more matches than any other ’keeper.
He is currently ranked number one in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen.
Dhoni said: “I would like to thank the Voting Academy for considering me to be deserving of this award. I am really happy to get this – it’s a great privilege.
“Also, it feels great to know that I am the first Indian player to get this particular award and it’s very special because now I am in the company of a lot of other good cricketers. Some fantastic players have won this award in the past and to be mentioned in their company is truly a humbling experience for me.
“I would like to thank the ICC, my home cricket board, my family, my team-mates and friends.”
The ODI Player of the Year Award was one of eight individual prizes given at this year’s LG ICC Awards. Dhoni also featured on the ICC ODI Team of the Year as picked by the ICC selection panel. The award was announced by Australia captain and two-time ICC Cricketer of the Year Ricky Ponting.
The panel was chaired by West Indies legend Clive Lloyd and included former Australia captain Greg Chappell, recently retired South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock, former Sri Lanka opener Sidath Wettimuny and former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan.
For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Women’s Cricketer of the Year and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to the 25-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 through that process the winners emerged.
The LG ICC Awards 2008 – presented in association with FICA – are based on the 12 months between 9 August 2007 and 12 August 2008. The LG 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).