Gavaskar and Kapil in ICC voting academy

Published: Monday, July 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi :India's cricketing legends Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have been inducted as members of the elite-voting academy for the International Cricket Council (ICC awards), instituted to recognise "individual excellence" in the sport.

Besides Gavaskar and Kapil, the International Cricket Council also announced the names of 10 other individuals who have so far been inducted into the "legends and media" group comprising 25 of the 50-member voting academy.

The other 25 members would be captains of the 10 Test playing nations, elite panel of ICC umpires (8) and match-referees (7), ICC CEO Malcolm Speed said at a press conference.

The awards would be presented on September 7 at the Alexandra Palace in London.

"The ICC Awards are firmly about recognising and honouring international cricket's most outstanding player of the last 12 months. There is no better way to receive the acknowledgement, than to be judged by your peers and by those whose views and opinions on international cricket is widely respected," Speed said.

"The strength of the ICC awards rests on the selection process to judge the award winners," he added while stating that he would not be surprised if quite a few Indians won the awards going by their recent performance.

The awards would take into account performance of the players starting from August 1 last year while the cut off date would be July 1, 2004.

Asian Age's Rajan Bala and Tony Cozier of West Indies are the two media representatives who have been named so far for the voting panel.

The other 8 members of the voting academy announced on Mondaywere -- Michael Atherton (Eng), Martin Crowe (NZ), Ian Healy (Aus), David Houghton (Zim), Graeme Pollock (RSA), Barry Richards (RSA), Sidath Wettimuny (SL) and Michael Holding (West Indies).

Speed made it clear that ICC would have "no interference" in either the nominations or final selections when asked if a controversial player like Muttiah Muralitharan stood a chance of winning the honour.

"The voting procedure would be independent of ICC. ICC would have no inputs into voting of the panel. The academy would complete the forms which will be sealed and passed on to auditors before being placed in safes.

"I think he (Muralitharan) could get it -- it is up to the panel. It is perfectly able to nominate Murali or whosoever if it feels the player deserves the award. There would be no interference whatsoever from the ICC," he said.

Awards would be given in both individual and team categories. In the individual section, there would be awards for the best Test Player of the Year, Best ODI Player of the Year, Emerging Player of the Year and Cricketer of the Year.

For the team awards, a separate five-member panel will pick the best 11 Test players and 11 One-day players to form the Best Test and ODI Team of the Year respectively.

"It would be interesting to see who gets the double accolade of making it both to the world's best Test and ODI team," said Speed who was accompanied by ICC president Ehsan Mani, Kapil Dev and Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, Sony Entertainment Television, the host broadcasters for the award function.

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