Sachin Tendulkar remained the man to beat in the 2011 Cricket World Awards - as voted for by Cricket World viewers, listeners and followers.
Following his dual success in being crowned Player of the Year and Batsman of the Year in 2010, the ‘Little Master’, held on to the main award by gaining 19 percent of the total votes cast, although he did have to share the Batsman of the Year gong with team-mate Virender Sehwag. India also reigned supreme in the other awards, with MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan, and the team itself all receiving recognition.
Thanks to everybody who took the time to vote - here's who you felt were most deserving in 2011. Happy New Year to all!
Player of the Year: Sachin Tendulkar (India)
Despite the search for his as yet elusive hundredth international hundred taking up most of the year, Tendulkar came out top of the polling in the main award. However, it was a close run thing, with Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez being rewarded for a consistent year with second place – just two percent behind – and Shahid Afridi a further three adrift to take third.
Batsman of the Year: Shared between Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag (both India)
Despite not garnering any support in the Player of the Year Award, Sehwag forces his compatriot to share the top honours when it comes to Batsman of the Year. This could have something to do with the high esteem with which Tendulkar is held throughout India and the rest of the cricketing world as an ambassador for the sport – a fact that would come into consideration when voting for the main award – or it could just be that Sehwag has not quite been forgiven for his disastrous Test tour of England. Either way, the two great titans of the Indian top-order receive deserved recognition. Rahul Dravid – a man who did prosper in England – takes third position.
Bowler of the Year: Zaheer Khan (India)
Last year’s award was shared by Dale Steyn and Shakib Al Hasan - who drop to fourth and seventh places respectively in this year’s billing – with Khan seemingly rewarded for leading India’s attack on the way to their World Cup triumph. The extent to which India relied on him was illustrated by the way in which their attack lost potency when he became injured or was rested at various times last year. Two Pakistani spinners, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal, are tied for second place.
Wicket-keeper of the Year: MS Dhoni (India)
Dhoni holds onto the award he won last year and receives a comfortable 59 percent share of the vote this time around. Kumar Sangakkara and Matt Prior, perhaps penalised for his absence from England’s limited-overs set-up, are in second and third positions.
Dhoni had a year to remember for all the right reasons in 2011. Whether leading his country to a home World Cup triumph, or gallantly continuing to lead his side in spite of painful finger problems later in the year, he showed all of the guts and competitiveness that epitomises a top-level sportsman.
Team of the Year: India
India complete their clean sweep of awards by holding onto their Team of the Year accolade, with a 51 percent share of the vote. Pakistan are rewarded for their increased competitiveness under the doughty Misbah-ul-Haq with second place, while England are punished for their dismal One-Day International form, with third place in spite of their all-conquering Test side.
For a complete list of results for all of 2011’s awards categories, please see page two.