The ESPN cricinfo Awards can be regarded as ESPN cricifnfo’s version of the Oscars. The awards recognize the best performances by batsmen and bowlers in a single year. The voting is done by an independent jury of ex cricketers and leegnds including Rahul Dravid Graeme Smith, Ian Chappell and Michel Holding. The jury also comprises of cricket commentators and senior writers from Cricinfo’s official site. Previously, notable winners of the ESPN cricinfo awards include South Africa’s Dale Steyn, India’s Virender Sehwag, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga.
It is no surprise that Aussie players dominate the nominees for the ESPNcricinfo awards 2015. Australians Shaun Marsh, Micheal Clarke, David Warner, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and the sensational Steve Smith all have been nominated for amazing performances in the test format. Young Steve Smith, has also been nominated in the shortlist for the best ODI performance of the year, joined by his all-round Aussie team mate James Faulkner for some brilliant match winning ODI performances in 2014.
From the Sri Lankan team, not surprisingly, Lasith Malinga’s name has been mentioned in the shortlist for the best bowler in the T20 and ODI format. Malinga, who proved himself to be one of the world’s most lethal death bowlers, had won the award previously too.
Two Pakistani test batsmen in Misbah Ul Haq and Younis Khan have been shortlisted in the test format section. Younis Khan’s two brilliant hundreds against Australia and Misbah Ul Haq’s century that was the fastest by any batsmen in test history, helped the Pakistanis pick up a memorable series whitewash win against Australia in Dubai.
India’s Ishant Sharma and England’s James Anderson feature in the shortlist for the best test performance with the bowl. Three Indian players are included in the ODI shortlist, which include Rohit Sharma for making the largest score in the history of One Day International cricket. It is no surprise that the other two Indian players who made it to the ODI shortlist, include Virat Kohli. The man has been the most consistent Indian batsman of recent times, with impressive form in both Tests and ODIs. The best Asia Cup performances are readily a part of the ODI shortlist of the ESPNcricinfo awards.
Cricketers who had been announced in the shortlist for last year’s Cricinfo awards get shortlisted again for this year’s addition. The names include Lasith Malinga, Shahid Afridi, Dale Steyn and Mitchell Johnson.
The shortlists were just released on the official ESPNcricinfo website, but the announcent of the winners shall take place In February next month.