Dubai, Sep 11 (UNI) India's flamboyant middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh won the inaugural Twenty20 International Performance of the Year Award in recognition of his six sixes in one over during the Twenty20 World Cup last year in South Africa.
This new award highlights the most impressive performances by players in Twenty20 Internationals during the 12-month voting period and it marks the advent of this exciting new format of the game at international level.
On 19 September last, during a match against England in Durban, Yuvraj smashed every delivery of the 19th over of pacer Stuart Broad over the boundary rope, in the process registering a 12-ball half-century and putting his team on course for victory.
It was the first time a player had hit six sixes in a single Twenty20 International over. Herschelle Gibbs did it in an ODI during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies while Garry Sobers was the first batsman who achieve the feat during a first-class match back in 1968.
According to the LG ICC Awards Voting Academy, Yuvraj's effort was the most impressive performance of the past 12 months. It beat off competition from his team-mate Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led his team to the victory at the Twenty20 World Cup last year, Chris Gayle of the West Indies, who scored 117 off just 57 balls against host South Africa in the opening match of the same tournament in Johannesburg; and Australia's Brett Lee, who became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the event against Bangladesh in Cape Town.
After collecting his award from former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, Yuvraj said, ''For me it was very important just to get nominated. There were other great performances during the past year. For example Chris Gayle's innings in the Twenty20 World Cup was fantastic. I am very happy to collect this award and I would like to congratulate the other players who were nominated alongside me.'' ''It's very important for any player to get his performance recognised. You play hard and you like to think people see that and get something out of it. I would like to thank the ICC for recognising the performances of the players. It's an important aspect of the year for us.
''After the fifth six in that over I remember having butterflies in my stomach and I knew that if I managed to hit it for six it would be very special. It was a great feeling when I saw the ball go over the boundary,'' he added.
The Twenty20 International Performance of the Year Award was one of eight individual prizes given at this year's LG ICC Awards.
The LG ICC Awards 2008 - presented in association with FICA - are based on the 12 months between August 9, 2007 to August 12, 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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