Cape Town – Three South Africans have been included in the International Cricket Council’s ODI Team of the Year announced on Wednesday.
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They are skipper AB de Villiers, batsman Hashim Amla and leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
The team was chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by the ICC’s Cricket Committee chairperson and former India captain, Anil Kumble.
The qualification period ran from September 18, 2014 to September 13, 2015 and the selection panel included past greats of the world game including former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop, ex-England batsman Mark Butcher, former Australia women’s captain Belinda Clark and G. Viswanath, Deputy Editor of The Hindu & Sportstar.
De Villiers has been selected in the ODI Team of the Year for the fourth time in five years and for the first time as captain. Amla was also selected in 2013, while Tahir is included for the first time.
Kumar Sangakarra, who recently retired from international cricket, has been selected as wicketkeeper and earns his fourth nomination (2011, 2012 and 2013) and is named alongside Sri Lanka team-mate Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was also selected in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Steven Smith earns his inaugural ODI nomination after playing a leading role in helping Australia seal its fifth ICC Cricket World Cup.
Trent Boult gains his debut nomination in the ODI Team of the Year alongside his New Zealand team-mate Ross Taylor.
Bangladesh’s 20-year-old left-arm pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman, who burst on to the scene over the last year has become the first ever player from his country to make the ODI Team of the Year (Shakib Al Hasan having been previously named in the 2009 Test Team of the Year), which is indicative of Bangladesh’s progress over the last 18 months. He is joined by India’s Mohammed Shami, who also made the 2014 team.
ICC ODI Team of the Year 2015 (in batting order):
Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL)
Hashim Amla (SA)
Kumar Sangakkara (SL) (wicketkeeper)
AB de Villiers (SA) (captain)
Steven Smith (Aus)
Ross Taylor (NZ)
Trent Boult (NZ)
Mohammed Shami (Ind)
Mitchell Starc (Aus)
Mustafizur Rahman (Bang)
Imran Tahir (SA)
12th man: Joe Root (Eng)