MS Dhoni in contention for ICC's People's Choice Award
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has something to be cheerful about after the stinging loss at Lords as he has been shortlisted for the ICC’s ‘People’s Choice Awards’. The Indian captain finds himself in worthy company of Hashim Amla, Chris Gayle, Kumara Sangakkara and Jonathan Trott. These awards were fashioned by the ICC in 2010 to give a platform to cricket fans worldwide so that they can celebrate and directly reward their cricketing heroes. Coincidentally, the first recipient of the award was Sachin Tendulkar.
Considering the dominant force Indian fans are in world cricket and Dhoni’s remarkable performance in all forms of the game, it looks likely that the award will just change hands in the same dressing room. The highlight of the year for MS Dhoni was his career defining innings of 91 in the final of Cricket World Cup 2011. He stood up-to the task in a high pressure game by promoting himself up the order displaying admirable leadership along with the necessary willow-wielding.
The nominees were selected by a panel of ICC constituting of cricket experts and former greats such as Clive Lloyd. The other members on this panel were Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan), Mike Gatting (England), Paul Adams (South Africa) and Danny Morrison (New Zealand). Interestingly there is no representation from Australia either in the nominees or in the panel erected by the ICC. This may be attributed to their decline in world cricket but one may argue that a performer such as Shane Watson was excluded.
The panel found the named five players bearing the right qualities requisite for the award. They were looking for innovation, dynamism, strength in decision-making, performing well under pressure and executing a plan to distinction. Kumara Sangakkara and MS Dhoni are the only two candidates who lead their sides in the last one year and hence have a definite edge over the other three nominees.
Jonathan Trott has emerged as England’s prime run-getter and has justified his no.3 with consistency. Hashim Amla is no exception. He scored centuries like hot cakes last year but failed to translate the form in the limited overs edition. Gayle’s inclusion comes as a surprise for the fans all over the world but his huge popularity in the Caribbean and overseas may help him become a possible contender for the award.
The voting will cease on 11am GMT on 25 August and the most voted nominee will be announced as the winner on 12 September in an ICC event at London. You can vote for your favorite player @ www.lgpeopleschoice.com.