Australia may have suffered defeat to England in the Ashes in the summer, and been beaten by India earlier in the year, but it has not prevented captain Michael Clarke from scooping the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year.
In a stellar day for Clarke, he has also been named ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.
The Ashes went England’s way, with Alastair Cook’s men winning the series 3-0. Cook has been rewarded by being named captain of the ICC Team of the Year, but Clarke has hogged the headlines for a standout year.
According to Cricket Australia, during the voting period from August 7, 2012 to August 25, 2013, Clarke clocked up 1559 runs at an average of 70.86.
Clarke gave an interview to Cricket Australia’s website, where he admitted the awards came as something of a shock.
I was very surprised, to be honest, I think probably because there are so many guys who are playing so well around the world at the moment.
I definitely didn’t expect to have won this award but it is a prestigious award and an honour, and something I’m certainly proud of.
Clarke’s focus is now on the current Ashes series, with Australia 2-0 ahead heading into the third Test in Perth.
He does, though, feel he can take his game to another level in the years ahead.
I think there’s a lot of areas of my game that can improve, and I work on those daily.
It’s an honour to have won this award this year, but if I want to become a great player, I need to make sure I’m scoring runs and helping this team win games for a few more years to come yet.
Other highlights in the awards are England’s Sarah Taylor being named T20I Women’s Player of the Year and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka picking up the ODI Player of the Year.
Was Michael Clarke the right choice for ICC Player of the Year?
For a full rundown of the awards, visit the ICC’s website.