Shiv: This award is special!

DUBAI -- Shivnarine Chanderpaul is on top of the world following his capture of the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy on Wednesday night. The amazing West Indies batsman won the award for being voted Cricketer of the Year at the annual awards ceremony of the International Cricket Council (ICC) held in Dubai.

“The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy … wow! I feel really great! This is amazing!” Chanderpaul said on Wednesday evening. “To win an award which carries the name of the great man is truly an honour and I have to say this is extremely special to me. This is a prestigious award and I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”

Chanderpaul won the award ahead of Mahela Jayawardena of Sri Lanka, and the South African pair of Dale Steyn and Graeme Smith.

During the voting period, Chanderpaul played eight Test matches – scoring 819 runs at an average of 91.00, including three centuries and six half-centuries. He was at his best in the three-match Digicel Home Series when he made 442 at an average of 147.33 against Australia.

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. He is currently ranked No. 1 in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen and is sixth in the rankings for ODI batsmen.

His brilliance overflowed into the One-Day format. He played 13 One-Day Internationals during that time, finishing top of the averages with 74.75 having scored 598 runs – including a century and five half-centuries. In April 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. Earlier this year he was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year.

Chanderpaul, who turned 34 three weeks ago, thanked his many supporters as well as persons close to him.
“I am very thankful to God for blessing me with the talent that I have. 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 the world. It's also important that I thank my team-mates and all those involved in West Indies cricket who have played a part in helping me to reach this level. Without you all this would not have been possible,” he said.

Chanderpaul was not in Dubai on Wednesday night to collect the award. He is in Taunton, England where he is playing for Durham against Somerset in the English County Cricket Championship.

“Won’t be much of a celebration. I have to go out and bat tomorrow (Thursday) and help to put up a big score. I just want to continue to do my best for West Indies cricket and all the other teams I represent. I enjoy doing what I do.”

List of award winners at the International Cricket Council’s gala
Cricketer of the Year – Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)
Test Player of the Year – Dale Steyn (South Africa)
ODI Player of the Year – Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Emerging Player of the Year – Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Associate Player of the Year – Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands)
T20 International Performance of the Year – Yuvraj Singh (India)
Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Charlotte Edwards (England)
Umpire of the Year – Simon Taufel (Australia)
Spirit of Cricket – Sri Lanka