Four Indian cricketers in the running for LG ICC Awards 2009

     Four Indian cricketers -- Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag --have all been short-listed for the top honours at the LG ICC Awards 2009. Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson and England captain Andrew Strauss are also in the short list of awardees. An ICC press release said that the votes have now been cast by the independent 25-person academy and four men -- Dhoni, Gambhir, Johnson and Strauss are in the running to receive the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for Cricketer of the Year at a glittering ceremony in Johannesburg on October 1. Gambhir, Johnson and Strauss are also short-listed for the Test Player of the Year alongside Sri Lanka's Thilan Samaraweera at the sixth annual LG ICC Awards, presented in association with the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA). Dhoni is also in contention to retain the ODI Player of the Year award he won last year as he is short-listed in that category with India team-mates Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag as well as West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The Twenty20 International Performance of the year sees two Pakistan players in the short-list, Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul, who are joined by West Indies' Chris Gayle and Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan. This year's LG ICC Awards includes eight individual prizes and also features the selection of the Test and ODI Teams of the Year and the award to the side that has adhered most to the Spirit of Cricket. The long-lists of nominations were made by a five-man ICC selection panel chaired by former West Indies captain and current chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee Clive Lloyd. The panel also includes former players such as India's Anil Kumble, Mudassar Nazar of Pakistan, Bob Taylor of England and New Zealand's Stephen Fleming. The short-lists were created after the individual player awards were voted for by an academy of 25 highly credentialed cricket personalities from around the world*. The academy includes a host of former players, respected members of the media as well as representatives of the Emirates Elite Panels of ICC Umpires and ICC Match Referees. The nominations from the Women's Cricketer of the Year were decided after a committee of former players, current administrators and journalists created a long-list. This in turn was broken down into a short-list by a separate 25-person voting academy. This year's short-list for the Women's Cricketer of the Year sees the return of last year's winner, England captain Charlotte Edwards along with team-mate Claire Taylor and Australia's Shelley Nitschke. The Spirit of Cricket award was voted on by all international captains as well as all members of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees. The Umpire of the Year award was voted on by the captains and the match referees based on the umpires' performance statistics. The Emerging Player of the Year nominees short-list features two Australians, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle, as well as Jesse Ryder of New Zealand and England's Graham Onions. To qualify for that award a player must be under the age of 26 and have played fewer than five Tests and/or 10 ODIs at the start of the voting period. The Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year award serves to recognise and reward the efforts in all international matches of the outstanding cricketers from the teams outside the ICC Full Members. This year's short-list sees the return of last year's winner, Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands, who is joined by his team-mate Edgar Schiferli. Ireland's ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier-winning captain William Porterfield and Canada's Rizan Cheema complete the list. Based on the period between 13 August 2008 and 24 August 2009, the LG ICC Awards 2009 - presented in association FICA - take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game. That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC World Twenty20 2009 in England, the ICC Women's World Cup 2009 in Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2009 in South Africa, as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series. The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its sixth year and this year it will be held in Johannesburg to coincide with the ICC Champions Trophy 2009. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007) and Dubai (2008).

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