ESPNcricinfo Awards 2013
Today, ESPNcricinfo announced the winners and honorees for the seventh annual ESPNcricinfo Awards. The gala event at ITC Grand Maratha, Mumbai saw attendance from many notable names in the global cricketing community and Indian media.

Sachin Tendulkar receiving the ESPNcricinfo Cricketer of the Generation award.

The gala event, which caps the first 20 years of ESPNcricinfo, unveiled the cricketer of the generation. Sachin Tendulkar was chosen by a 50-member jury as the winner of a special one-time award – ESPNcricinfo@20 Cricketer of the Generation – for his impact and influence on the sport over the course of the 20 years since the site’s launch, and for captivating the world with consistently spectacular performances. The announcement was preceded by an engaging panel discussion led by Rahul Dravid and Martin Crowe, which discussed the accomplishments and contributions of significant cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis and Shane Warne in the past 20 years.

Speaking on the victory, Sachin said, “I am speechless. Thank you very much; my association with ESPNcricinfo has been a long one and I thank them for considering me worthy enough to hold this trophy. I am overwhelmed by the generosity with which Martin Crowe and Rahul Dravid described my game earlier this evening; I have the deepest regard for both players and coming from them, it means a lot to me. Over the years, my coach, colleagues and brother Ajit have had a lot to do with helping me improve my game and I owe this to them. Thank you once again.”

The blue-ribbon independent jury of current and former cricketers and leading sportswriters also selected the winners of Test Bowling and Batting Performance of the Year (Mitchell Johnson and Shikhar Dhawan, respectively) and Best ODI Bowling and Batting Performance of the Year (Shahid Afridi and Rohit Sharma, respectively).  Cricket fans voting on ESPNcricinfo selected Mohammed Shami as the Debut of the Year.

Left to Right: Rahul Dravid, Martin Crowe & Sambit Bal at the ESPNcricinfo Awards.

The ceremony also honored the first-ever recipient of the Contribution to Cricket Award – Tarak Sinha.  Sinha, who has produced 11 internationals and over 100 first-class cricketers, was selected for the special award by former Indian batsman and Captain Rahul Dravid. The award recognized the often overlooked off-field contributions to the game. His assessment covered contributions from all over the cricketing ecosystem, from groundsmen to pitch curators, umpires and grassroots organisers.

While presenting the award, Dravid said, “A lot of people get recognized for the work they do on the field. However, there are many others who work behind the scenes to make this the great game that it is. This “contribution to cricket” category is about recognizing someone who would otherwise be overlooked and yet has added tremendous value to the history of cricket. Tarak Sinha deserves this award for his relentless and often unknown work as a coach, teacher, developer of players and people. He has been coaching for four decades and has enriched the lives of countless people through his passion and dedication.”

Rahul Dravid was also bestowed with The Cricket for Good Award presented by Renault. The award will be given out each year to a cricketer who has made use of his or her stature for a wider cause. Rahul Dravid is the first recipient and is recognised as somebody who embodies the qualities that define sportsmanship. He has worked diligently with many young cricketers and has also supported development in other sports by taking up a role as a mentor for India’s Olympic prospects.

ESPNcricinfo Awards 2013 winners:

TEST BOWLING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Mitchell Johnson
7/40 v England, Adelaide

TEST BATTING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Shikhar Dhawan
187 v Australia, Mohali

ODI BOWLING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Shahid Afridi
7/12 v West Indies, Georgetown

ODI BATTING PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
Rohit Sharma
209 v Australia, Bangalore

ESPNCRICINFO DEBUT OF THE YEAR
Mohammed Shami

CONTRIBUTION TO CRICKET
Tarak Sinha

ESPNCRICINFO@20 CRICKETER OF THE GENERATION
Sachin Tendulkar

The ESPNcricinfo Awards also featured the Statsguru Awards – more than 30 award categories based purely on statistical achievement from international matches in 2013. The awards are based on detailed data analysis of performances by ESPNcricinfo’s one-of-a-kind statistical tools and were announced on the website. The list of winners can be accessed here http://www.espncricinfo.com/awards2013

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