ICC Awards 2010: Swann Loses Out To Sachin

7 10 2010

Sachin Triumphs

The winners of the ICC awards were announced last night and whilst they were on the whole more or less as expected, we did feel that Graeme Swann was pretty hard done by not to pick up a single gong. Cricket is, as ever, a batsman’s game – something that hasn’t changed since the early days of cricket 200 years ago when the batsmans totals were counted whilst ignoring the bowling figures – and this was represented in last nights awards ceremony yet again.

Tendulkar won the ICC Cricketer of the Year award for the first time in his illustrious career and arguably deservedly so. Scoring over 1000 runs with six centuries in only ten test matches he has had as good a year as he has had before – combine this with the first double century in a one day international and you have a potent mix. Equally, Sehwag, scorer of over 1200 runs at an average of 85 with his own collection of six tons is also arguably a deserved winner of the test player of the year award.

Sadly for Graeme Swann this left him without a category in which he could could triumph. Originally left out of the shortlist for the Cricketer of the Year award by the ICC’s selection panel, he was only added later when the ECB rightly created a furore and demanded his inclusion. That he couldn’t even make this original sixteen was a mistake so elementary and so entirely characteristic of the ICC that you really worry for the future of the game in their hands. Once on the list he rightly made it to the final four although we always felt that this was as far as he would go – had he been selected for the prize it would have highlighted the original failure to include him – quite apart from the other players own merits.

The second selection mistake – although one not acknowledged – was his lack of inclusion in Sehwag’s category of Test Player of the Year. Comfortably the worlds leading wicket taker in this time with an astonishing seven five wicket hauls and one ‘ten for’ (list here), Swann also managed almost 500 runs and three fifties. A brilliant all round record and one that in our opinion could and perhaps should have knocked Sehwag off the top of the list – to not even get a nomination is appalling quite frankly. Factor in his performances in ODI and 20/20 cricket and you have a mix that could have easily been justified in winning the top award.

Possibly in the end the quality of the opposition Swann faced in this period (i.e. 4 tests each against Bangladesh and Pakistan and only 6 against top ranked sides – Australia and South Africa) told in the final decision going against him. Summing up therefore – whilst it is difficult to have any real issues with the two players selected – Swann has arguably been hard done by throughout process as a whole and will have to be content with the knowledge that most sober judges reckon him to be the best spinner in the world right now. As fervent England fans we would like to thank the great man for a sterling years work and say please keep this vein of form up long enough for the Ashes to stay firmly in England’s grasp – you’re going to be key Swanny!

For the record – here are his figures over the year:

Other Awards:

ODI Player of the Year: Shane Watson can feel justifiably gutted not to have won this award – more wickets than anyone else and the second highest run scorer over the same period – not even AB De Villiers, the eventual winner, with his 855 runs in 16 games could quibble too much with this. An exceptional year for both players but Watson should have sneaked it with his all round performance.

20/20 Performance of the Year: A strange category this knowing that there is no test or ODI equivalent – added to the fact that realistically it is something that only a batsman could win – was won by Brendon McCullum for his 116 not out against the Aussies. Fine innings though it is, cricket is all about context and therefore in our humble opinion it would be very difficult to argue against Hussey’s 70 odd against Pakistan in the World Cup semi final at St.Lucia. Under immense pressure and with near impossible odds Hussey took Australia through to the final which given the World Cup situation should have been more than enough to win the award.

Other than that it was all pretty straight forward. What are your thoughts – do you agree?




One response

7 10 2010

Bit gutted for Swann, he has been a stellar performer for England.

Must say that I am surprised that this is Tendulkars first award!

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