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George Dockrell shares stage with international stars at ICC awards

Updated: Saturday, 15 Sep 2012 16:16 | Comments

George Dockrell is expecting Ireland to record victories at the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka
George Dockrell is expecting Ireland to record victories at the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka

Ireland's George Dockrell shared the stage with world-beating superstar Kumar Sangakkara, among other winners, at the ceremony for the LG International Cricket Council awards.

Sri Lanka's Sangakkara won both the Test Cricketer of the Year and the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, as the world's outstanding player across all formats in the past 12 months.

England's Ashes winners Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott took those two awards in 2011, but neither they nor any of their compatriots even reached the short-lists this time.

Sangakkara made it a hat-trick in the People's Choice category at the ceremony in his native country, receiving the top award from ICC president Alan Isaac.

The 34-year-old batsman and former captain has made almost 1,500 runs at an average above 60 in his last 14 Tests. He has been similarly prolific in one-day internationals, and still keeps wicket in that format too.

Sangakkara emerged the winner of the overall award, from a short-list containing South Africa batsman Hashim Amla - his country's first triple-centurion, against England at The Oval two months ago - Australia captain Michael Clarke and South Africa seamer Vernon Philander.

Sangakkara said: "This is an amazing honour - and I've seen the people who have won it before me and the nominees too.

"To be named alongside them is wonderful. I admire them greatly, and even more so when I looked up at their records on the screen this evening.

"It's great to be among them. But now to receive this honour this evening is simply fantastic."

Spinner Dockrell was the winner of the 2012 Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year award - ahead of three of his fellow Irishmen.

The 22-year-old Somerset slow left-armer has taken 52 wickets at international level, across all formats, at an average of just 15.83 since August 2011.

For that, he was selected from a short-list also containing Kevin O'Brien, Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling from Ireland - as well as Afghanistan fast bowler Dawlat Zadran.

Dockrell is delighted at his and the team’s success so far, but is far from satisfied yet.

"It is an honour to win such an award, especially following in the footsteps of the cricketers who have won it previously," he said, before looking forward to Ireland's challenge at the ICC World Twenty20 over the next three weeks here in Sri Lanka.

"If you look at the last few big tournaments we have played in ... we are always competing, and playing well, against those big teams.

"Going into this tournament, we will be backing ourselves to win one if not two of our group games and get through to the next stage."

Enid Bakewell, yesterday inducted into the ICC's Hall of Fame, was hardly lost for words either.

The doyenne of England women's cricket is still playing at the age of 71 - the all-rounder opens the bowling for her club second team with her slow left-arm spin - and urged others present to see if they can do likewise.

England wicketkeeper-batsman Sarah Taylor was not among the audience, because she is currently taking on West Indies in a home series before she and her team-mates travel to Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20.

But Taylor did win a major award, as the Women's Twenty20 Cricketer of the Year.

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