Sangakkara, Murali, Sehwag make it to World Test Team of year

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Dubai, Sep 11 (UNI) India's dashing opener Virender Sehwag along with Sri Lankan duo of Kumara Sangakkara and Mutiah Murlitharan was included in the World Test team of the year as chosen by a specially appointed independent selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend Clive Lloyd, here last night.

For Sangakkara and Murlitharan this was the third year in a row that the two were selected for the ICC Test team of the year.

The announcement was made at the LG ICC Awards celebration at The Westin Hotel. 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 Lankan pair of Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan - also appeared in the World Test Team of the Year in 2007.

Indeed, Sangakkara and Muralitharan also appeared in the Test Team of the Year for 2006. 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 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 performances of 12 months between August 9, 2007 and August 12, 2008. The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its fifth year and this is the first time it has been staged here.

Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006) and Johannesburg (2007).

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