ICC Men’s Cricketer Of The Year – Part I

ICC Mens Cricketer of the Year from 2004-08
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ICC Mens Cricketer of the Year from 2004-08

The ICC (International Cricket Council) awards the best cricketer annually as the ‘ICC Cricketer of the Year’. It confers the best Men’s cricketer of the year as a tribute to ’Sir Garfield Sobers’. The awards as a practice started in 2004. A panel comprising Richie Benaud, Sunil Gavaskar, and Michael Holding named the award ’Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.’ Let us look at ICC Mens Cricketer of the Year from 2004-08 in detail.

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We look back at the ICC Mens Cricketer of the Year from 2004-08:

#1 2004 – Rahul Dravid 

He had an unforgettable 2003-04. Rahul Dravid was at another level in Test cricket during this phase. He had brilliant Test numbers in Australia and Pakistan. Dravid scored an epic 233 and a 72 in the iconic Adelaide Test. It helped India win a Test in Australia after two decades. Dravid’s 270 in Rawalpindi helped India win a historic series in Pakistan.

He donned the gloves in ODIs that helped India play a strong XI in the 2003 World Cup. Dravid beat other notable nominations-Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and Brian Lara to the trophy. He was part of ICC’s Text XI and also won the Test cricketer of the year.

#2 2005 – Jacques Kallis & Andrew Flintoff

It was the year where both the premier allrounders of the generation were rewarded. Jacques Kallis and Andrew Flintoff were the joint winners of the award in 2005. They had stiff competition in Glenn McGrath, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Shane Warne. But the duo managed to pip them to the post.

Kallis had a standout year in Tests, he was the Test player of the year in addition to being the 12th man in the ODI team. Flintoff who turbocharged England’s Ashes win in 2005 was named in both Tests and ODI team of the year.

Also Read: ICC Men’s Cricketer Of The Year 2008-13 – Part II

#3 2006 – Ricky Ponting

He faced the ignominy of being the first Australian captain in two decades to lose an Ashes trophy in 2005. Ricky Ponting though put it behind him and went on to have a fantastic 2006. He smashed centuries at will in both Tests and ODIs.

Ponting was named in the Test and ODI team of the year. He had massive competition from contemporaries like Rahul Dravid, Mahela Jayawardene, and Mohammad Yousuf. But Ponting prevailed over everyone to win his maiden Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy trophy.

#4 2007 – Ricky Ponting

He became the first cricketer to win the award twice in as many years. Ricky Ponting led Australia to a successive World Cup win in 2007. The team didn’t lose a single game across two editions (2003 & 2007). It was little surprise that Ponting won the coveted Cricketer of the year award in 2007.

He had competition from fellow Australian players like Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath. The pair was the leading run-scorer and highest wicket-taker respectively in the 2007 World Cup. But Ponting beat them to win the award.

#5 2008 – Shivnarine Chanderpaul

He was the first West Indian to win the award. Shivnarine Chanderpaul was the proud recipient of the ‘Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy’ in 2008. The run machine was also named in the Test team of the year in 2008. He was single-handedly carrying the baton for a struggling West Indies side. Chanderpaul had to fight competition with Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith, and Mahela Jayawardene. The southpaw emerged victorious to clinch the trophy.

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