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Dale Steyn is ICC Test Player of the Year

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South Africa’s express Fast bowler Dale Steyn has been honoured with the ICC Test Player of the Year 2008. The 25-year-old received the award from former West Indian Captain Clive Lloyd in the fifth ICC Awards ceremony that was held in Dubai today.

Steyn had got the award ahead of the other three nominees who were Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mahela Jayawardena and his own team-mate Jacques Kallis. During the 12-month voting period, Steyn had taken as many as 86 wickets while averaging just 18.10 in the 14 Test matches he played. Incredibly, there was no other bowler matching his destruction as none had taken more than 58 wickets in the same period and Steyn was also the only bowler to earn an average less than 21.50 (of those who played more than three matches). Steyn had a superb strike rate of 31.9 during this period. It was quite a show from the fast bowler, who showed that not only could he get wickets on the tailor-made South African tracks but also on the slow docile pitches in the sub continent. The success factor for Steyn is that he can swing the ball, reverse swing it both ways at a deadly pace.

Dale Steyn after collecting the award said: “I have had a pretty decent year I suppose but I didn’t think about winning this award until the past few days. I don’t really know how I feel. Perhaps tomorrow morning it will have sunk in for me because obviously this is a huge award and it’s massive for me.

“What I would like to do is maybe turn it into a goal for the future. I would like to win this award again and maybe other awards too so it would be something to aim for.

“I am really enjoying my cricket at the moment – we have been involved in a few great series recently so I count myself as lucky to be a part of this South Africa team.

“It’s a good time for South African cricket even though we lost four one-day matches in England. Winning this award makes up a little for that but I am still going home knowing we were beaten in the one-dayers. But we have some new faces coming into the one-day side and we are still very positive for the future.”

The past winners of the ICC Test Player of the Year were Rahul Dravid (2004), Jacques Kallis (2005), Ricky Ponting (2006) and Mohammad Yousuf (2007).

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