Colombo, Sep 17: Former Sri Lanka cricketer turned umpire Kumar Dharmasena, having won the David Shepherd Trophy for the first time, after being named the ICC umpire of the year, at ICC Awards on Saturday said the award means a lot.
The 41 year old, who was a part of the World Cup winning team in 1996, represented Sri Lanka for 12 years and now having started his career as an umpire, the former cricketer is overwhelmed to have received teh David Shepherd trophy this year.
"This award means a lot to me after playing cricket for 12 years. It's for the Sri Lankan umpires and the community who looked after my growth. I feel I had a great year on-and-off the field and I feel having been a cricketer has helped me with my decision making as an umpire and to give better decisions.
Having made his debut as an umpire in 2009 for ODIs and T20s against India and New Zealand respectively, was seen as an umpire in Tests in 2010, officiating the match between India and New Zealand at Ahmedabad.
Within a a few years into umpiring, Dharmasena was named the ICC umpire of the year following voting by the 10 Test captains and seven-member Elite panel of ICC match referees.
Based on his accuracy in the last 12 twelve months, his decisions and statistics throughout the year, he was named the ICC umpire of the year.
"This is one of the best awards I could have got as an individual as I only joined the Elite Panel a year ago, it's really an honour."
With Billy Bowden, Rodney Tucker, Richard Kettleborough, five-time winner Simon Taufel adn three-time winner Aleem Dar also nominated under the same category, Kumar Dharmasena managed to emerge victorious, as he was adjudged the best.
Dharmasena, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in May 2011, and during the voting period, he officiated seven Tests and 13 ODIs.