Sangakkara and Muralidaran bag World Test Team of year 2008

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Dubai, Sep 10 (UNI) The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced its World Test Team of the Year, as chosen by a specially appointed independent selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend Clive Lloyd.

The announcement was made at the LG ICC Awards celebration at The Westin Hotel, Dubai. Presented in association with FICA, the awards recognise the best international players of the past 12 months.

World Test Team of the Year 2008 is as follows (in batting order): Graeme Smith (SA, captain) Virender Sehwag (Ind) Mahela Jayawardena (SL) Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI) Kevin Pietersen (Eng) Jacques Kallis (SA) Kumar Sangakkara (SL, wicketkeeper) Brett Lee (Aus) Ryan Sidebottom (Eng) Dale Steyn (SA) Muttiah Muralidaran (SL) 12th man: Stuart Clark (Aus) Six countries are represented in the 12-man line-up and three players - Kevin Pietersen of England and the Sri Lanka pair of Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralidaran - also appeared in the World Test Team of the Year in 2007. Indeed, Sangakkara and Muralidaran also appeared in the Test Team of the Year for 2006 as well.

South Africa's skipper Graeme Smith is named as captain of the team.

Chairman of the LG ICC Awards Selection Panel, Clive Lloyd said it was a very difficult task in selecting this year's Test team but that looking at the line-up he felt it had great balance and depth.

Lloyd was joined on the panel by former Australia captain Greg Chappell, recently retired South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock, former Sri Lanka opener Sidath Wettimuny and former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan. Statistics were available as a guide but were not necessarily the overwhelming factor in the choices made.

The ICC Test Team of the Year was one of two teams selected by the ICC selection panel along with the ODI line-up. There were also eight individual prizes given at this year's LG ICC Awards.

The panel was chaired by West Indies legend Clive Lloyd and included former Australia captain Greg Chappell, recently retired South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock, former Sri Lanka opener Sidath Wettimuny and former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan.

The LG ICC Awards 2008 - presented in association with FICA - are based on the 12 months between 9 August 2007 and 12 August 2008. The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its fifth year and this is the first time it has been staged in Dubai, the home of the International Cricket Council. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006) and Johannesburg (2007).

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