COLOMBO: Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was named in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Team of the Year on Thursday. No Indians made it to the list, which is mostly dominated by South African players.
Australian captain Michael Clarke was selected skipper for the team while South African fast bowler Dale Steyn figures in the team for the fifth year in a row, with team-mates Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander also making the grade.
A fifth South African, AB de Villiers, was named 12th man.
The team, picked by a five-member panel and taking into account performances in a 12-month period that ended on August 6, was announced by the world governing body in Colombo.
Amla, Kallis and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara were picked for the third successive year, while the England duo of Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad appear for the second year in a row.
Former West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd, who chaired the panel, said it was a tough job picking the side.
“The team has a strong batting line-up, while the bowlers are a tough combination of pace and spin who could dismiss any line-up on any surface,” Lloyd said in an ICC statement.
“The selectors did utilise a vast amount of statistics from the period under observation, but we also took into account all other factors like the opposition, pitch conditions, match situation etc.
“But when you have only 12 places to fill from a big group of world-class players, there will always be a few who will miss out.”
ICC chief executive David Richardson, who announced the line-up, added: “Those selected can be justifiably proud of their achievements and are well deserving of the recognition they receive as great cricketers of their era.
“The quality of Test cricket played over the course of the year has been exceptional and I did not envy the selectors in their task of selecting the best.
“Congratulations to those who have made it. They make a formidable team.”
ICC Test team of the year
Alastair Cook (ENG)
Hashim Amla (RSA)
Kumar Sangakkara (SRI)
Jacques Kallis (RSA)
Michael Clarke (AUS – capt)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WIS)
Matt Prior (ENG – wicketkeeper)
Stuart Broad (ENG)
Saeed Ajmal (PAK)
Vernon Philander (RSA)
Dale Steyn (RSA)
12th man: AB de Villiers (RSA)
ICC award shortlists
Cricketer of the Year: Hashim Amla (South Africa), Michael Clarke (Australia), Vernon Philander (South Africa), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka).
Test Cricketer of the Year: Hashim Amla (South Africa), Michael Clarke (Australia), Vernon Philander (South Africa), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka).
ODI Cricketer of the Year: MS Dhoni (India), Virat Kohli (India), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka).
Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year: Lydia Greenway (England), Anisa Mohammed (West Indies), Sarah Taylor (England), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies).
Emerging Cricketer of the Year: Doug Bracewell (New Zealand), Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka), Sunil Narine (West Indies), James Pattinson (Australia).
Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year: Alyssa Healy (Australia), Lisa Sthalekar (Australia), Sarah Taylor (England), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies).
ICC Umpire of the Year: Billy Bowden, Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Richard Kettleborough, Simon Taufel, Rodney Tucker.
Spirit of Cricket: Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), AB de Villiers (South Africa).
People’s Choice Award: James Anderson (England), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Vernon Philander (South Africa), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Sachin Tendulkar (India).