Tendulkar beats Swann to top cricket award

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The Independent Online

Graeme Swann was today beaten by Sachin Tendulkar to the International Cricket Council Cricketer of the Year prize.

England spinner Swann was edged out by India legend Tendulkar for the top gong at the ICC Awards in Bangalore.

But there was good news for Swann's team-mate Steven Finn, with the fast-bowler named Emerging Player of the Year.

Swann, 31, was short-listed along with Tendulkar, India batsman Virender Sehwag and South Africa's Hashim Amla.

ICC officials were left red-faced in August when they initially excluded Nottinghamshire off-spinner Swann from their long-list of contenders, despite him taking 49 wickets in Tests and 28 in one-day internationals during the qualification period.

An outcry followed and the ICC quickly added Swann to the list, describing his omission as "an oversight".

Swann had been hoping to follow in the footsteps of recently-retired team-mate Andrew Flintoff, who shared the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy with Jacques Kallis in 2005.

Middlesex's Finn, meanwhile, beat off competition from Pakistan's Umar Akmal, Sri Lanka's Angelo Matthews and Australia's Tim Paine to land the emerging player prize.

The 6ft 8in fast bowler, 21, played in six Test matches during the voting period, taking 27 wickets at an average of 21.85.

Receiving his award from legendary West Indies bowler Joel Garner, Finn said: "It's a great honour to win this, an award I wasn't expecting and I'm very pleased and honoured to be playing Test match cricket for my country.

"I've enjoyed the last few months representing my country and I hope it continues.

"Next up is the Ashes and I think we're well prepared to win the series - we've got a settled side ready to go for this winter."

Swann had the consolation of being named in the Test Team of the Year along with James Anderson, while Paul Collingwood and Stuart Broad were selected in the One-Day International Team of the Year.

Tendulkar also claimed the inaugural LG People's Choice Award, with England captain Andrew Strauss among those to miss out.

Tendulkar said: "I'm really excited to have won two awards and this last season for the entire team has been really special.

"To win both of these awards tonight, Cricketer of the Year and the LG People's Choice Award, is special and it's the game's way of appreciating someone's performance.

"It feels great to have two trophies in front of me and I am feeling very proud and happy."

During the voting period, the 37-year-old from Mumbai played in 10 Tests, making 1,064 runs, including six centuries, at an average of 81.84.

Tendulkar also played in 17 ODI matches in the time period, smashing his way to 914 runs at an average 65.28 in a period, including a record-breaking double-century against South Africa in Gwalior.

Tendulkar lost out to Sehwag and South Africa's AB de Villiers in the Test Player of the Year and ODI Player of the Year categories, respectively.

England's Katherine Brunt, meanwhile, was beaten by Australia all-rounder Shelley Nitschke to the Women's Cricketer of the Year prize.

But former captain Rachael Heyhoe Flint made history by becoming the first female inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.