India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been given the ICC People's Choice player of the year award at an event in Mumbai on Tuesday. Mr Sanjay Patel, honorary secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), received the award on the behalf of Dhoni who is in South Africa at present. (Let officials play a match, jokes Dhoni)
This year's award saw five players from four different countries nominated to win the only prize voted by the public at the annual ICC Awards.
Dhoni beat teammate and middle-order batsman Virat Kohli, Australia captain Michael Clarke, England skipper Alastair Cook and South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers to the prize as announced by ICC's Chief Executive David Richardson. He now becomes only the third cricketer to win this coveted prize after Sachin Tendulkar, who was the first-ever recipient in 2010, and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, who won it in 2011 and 2012.
"This is one of the awards that has given me tremendous satisfaction, since it comes from the key stakeholders of the game - the fans. Recognition from the people who support and encourage us day in and day out, only inspires me to put in that much more, and go the extra mile for them. I would like to thank all those people who have voted in my favour," said Dhoni after winning the award. (Dhoni, Team India in line to break records)
Along with the People's Choice award, Dhoni also earned a spot in the Test and ODI teams of the year. Dhoni has also been nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year along with Sangakkara, Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Hashim Amla and Michael Clarke. He was also one of the six nominees for the ODI cricketer of the year award. (Related: Kohli ignored by ICC)
Richardson revealed the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year along with shortlists for other awards to be presented at the annual ICC award ceremony next year. The nominees for Test cricketer of the year include Amla, Anderson, R Ashwin, Clarke, Cheteshwar Pujara and Dale Steyn. Steyn has also been named in the Test side for the sixth year in a row. (India like a runaway train: Steyn)
Saeed Ajmal, Shikhar Dhawan, Dhoni, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ravindra Jadeja and Sangakkara will compete for the ODI cricketer of the year prize. (Read: Kohli can emulate Sachin: Donald)
The ICC Awards is now in its 10th year and takes into consideration performances during the period between August 7 2012 and August 25 2013. This period includes high-profile events as the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, the Women's World Cup 2013 held in India, the Champions Trophy held in England and Wales along with several bilateral Test, ODI and T20I series.