There were two ICC awards Sachin Tendulkar was in line for, and while the first — the newly introduced People’s Choice award — simply could not have gone to anyone else, Tendulkar had to fight off strong competition for the second.
But Tendulkar became the second Indian in the six-year history of these awards to be named the ICC Cricketer of the Year, beating off Graeme Swann, Virender Sehwag and Hashim Amla.
Ever the diplomat, Tendulkar refused to say which award meant more to him. “One award is the recognition of your peers, the people who make up the cricketing fraternity, the other is the love of fans from around the world,” he explained.
“I cherish every award that comes my way.” All in all, Tendulkar was happy to just win an ICC award, something he has failed to do in the last five years. “Better late than never,” was all Tendulkar would say when asked why it took so long for him to bag an ICC award.
The ICC was quick to clarify that the people’s choice award was not swayed by millions of Indians logging on and casting votes for their man, but rather that a weighted system of global votes picked Tendulkar on top. The award ceremony, which began with a red-carpet procession of cricket’s who’s who, was rudely interrupted by a thunderstorm that drummed insistently on the tin roof at the venue.
But once the presentations got under way in right earnest, though, the focus returned to the cricket, complete with ICC President Sharad Pawar insisting that “the ICC would do all that was needed to ensure that Test cricket did not die,” an interesting statement, given the timing.
Only on Tuesday, India prevailed over Australia by one wicket in Mohali in one of the most absorbing Test matches in recent memory.
There was a strong Indian flavour to the evening, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni being named captain of the ICC ODI World XI and Virender Sehwag walking away with the award for best ODI cricketer.
“Last year, when Gautam won the award, it motivated me,” said Sehwag.
“At that time we spoke we were hoping that my turn would come soon, and I’m glad it has in the next year itself.”
In the middle of a year when India emerged as the No. 1 Test team in the rankings, it was only fitting that this reflected in individual awards for their players.
BCCI issues show-cause notice to IPL teams
The BCCI issued show-cause notices to three IPL franchises — Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Kochi — for irregularities in their ownership patterns.
The franchises have been given 10 days from the receipt of the notice to explain their stand.
If the BCCI is not convinced with the replies, it may scrap the concerned franchise.