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Gautam Gambhir named International Cricketer of the Year

In-form Indian opener Gautam Gambhir on Sunday won the Ceat International Cricketer of the Year award for his stupendous performance with the bat in the 2008-09 season.

Gambhir, who has notched seven hundreds in his last nine Tests including four in the last four, also won the Test Batsman of the Year award at a function held on Sunday night.

Gambhir’s India and Delhi opening mate Virender Sehwag won the ODI Batsman of the Year award.

The Test Bowler of the Year award was bagged by Australia’s left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson.

Former spin great Erapalli Prasanna was given the Lifetime Achievement award while Australia got the Team of the Year award.

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was given a special felicitation award for completing 300 wickets in Tests.

The International Spirit of Cricket award went to Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera who got injured in the Lahore terror attack in March while his compatriot Ajantha Mendis bagged the ODI Bowler of the Year award.

Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar said at the function that these ratings are accurate as indicated by the fact that some of the previous International Cricketer of the Year award winners were modern day greats Brian Lara (West Indies), Muthiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) and Ricky Ponting (Australia).

“Ceat Cricket Rating strives to focus on identifying the right talent. The ratings are pretty much accurate as you can see some of the modern greats like Brian Lara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ricky Ponting etc winning the Ceat International Cricketer of the Year in the past,” he said.

While Gambhir got Rs 5 lakh for being named as the International Cricketer of the Year, the other individual awards were worth Rs 2 lakh each except Samaraweera’s which was worth Rs one lakh. Prasanna received Rs 5 lakh. The Australian team was given Rs 10 lakh.

Gambhir said that his contribution towards India’s Test series victory in New Zealand, after more than three decades, had given him a lot of satisfaction.

“I was happy to do something for India winning a Test series in New Zealand after 32 years,” said Gambhir who batted for ten hours while making the match saving 137 at Napier in the second Test again New Zealand during India’s visit between February and April.

Gambhir said that he himself was surprised that he could bat for so long.

“I myself was surprised that I could play a long innings as I am not a patient guy,” he added.

The award winners:

International Cricketer of the Year and Test Batsman of the Year – Gautam Gambhir (India)
ODI Batsman of the Year – Virender Sehwag (India)
Test Bowler of the year – Mitchell Johnson (Australia)
ODI Bowler of the year – Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Spirit of Cricket Award – Thilan Samaraweera (Sri Lanka)
300 Wickets Felicitation Award – Harbhajan Singh (India)
Lifetime Achievement Award – EAS Prasanna (India).

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