India's Rahul Dravid claimed the most prestigious individual honour in world cricket after being named Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in London on 7th September.
Dravid, who also picked up the Test Player of the Year award, capped a memorable night by receiving the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for his prolific performances this year.
The ICC Awards, presented by Hyundai in association with FICA, recognise the game's most superior players of the past 12 months.
Accepting his award, Dravid said: "I am so happy to be recognised by some really great people and selectors. Thank you, this means so much to me." ICC President Ehsan Mani said: "On behalf of the ICC, I congratulate Rahul Dravid on winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, and also the Test Player of the Year award," said Mr Mani. "He has demonstrated his outstanding skill over the course of the year, and showed his consistency and ability to play well at home and abroad. "It was Rahul's peers and colleagues who voted on this award, so he is indeed a worthy winner."
England’s Andrew Flintoff capped a remarkable 12 months with the bat and ball by taking honours in the ODI award category from an impressive field of nominees. Accepting his award, Flintoff said: "My cricket over the past 18 months has had a massive turnaround. I'm going through a purple patch - not just in my cricket, but in my life." ICC President Ehsan Mani said: "Andrew Flintoff has certainly had a tremendous year in 2003-04 and we congratulate him on winning this award, as One-Day International Player of the Year."
Indian pace bowler Irfan Pathan was named Emerging Player of the Year. The 19-year-old claimed the award in a category featuring some of international cricket's most talented players. Accepting his award, Pathan paid tribute to his family and friends: "My family has supported me a lot as well as my coaches, right throughout my career. Everyone has helped me and I'd like to thank them all." ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said: "On behalf of the ICC and the cricket community, we congratulate Irfan Pathan on winning the Emerging Player of the Year award. He is a highly gifted player and along with the other nominees in this category, all have very bright futures in cricket," said Mr Speed.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was named captain of the World XI Test Team of the Year, capping off a special night for the 29-year-old after he was also named captain of the World XI ODI Team of the Year. Ponting said: "This is a great recognition of the hard work and dedication these guys put into their cricket, not just this year but throughout their careers." Ponting was one of six players to be named in both World XI teams, along with Australian team mates Adam Gilchrist and Jason Gillespie, South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, West Indies captain Brian Lara and Sri Lankan fast bowler Chaminda Vaas.
Cricketer of the Year, the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy – Rahul Dravid (India)
Test Player of the Year – Rahul Dravid (India)
One-Day International Player of the Year – Andrew Flintoff (England)
Emerging Player of the Year – Irfan Pathan (India)
Umpire of the Year – Simon Taufel
World XI One Day Team of the Tear
1. Adam Gilchrist
2. Sachin Tendulkar
3. Chris Gayle
4. Ricky Ponting (captain)
5. Brian Lara
6. Virender Sehwag
7. Jacques Kallis
8. Andrew Flintoff
9. Shaun Pollock
10. Chaminda Vaas
11. Jason Gillespie
World XI Test Team of the Year
1. Matthew Hayden
2. Herschelle Gibbs
3. Ricky Ponting (captain)
4. Rahul Dravid
5. Brian Lara
6. Jacques Kallis
7. Adam Gilchrist
8. Chaminda Vaas
9. Shane Warne
10. Jason Gillespie
11. Stephen Harmison
Spirit of Cricket Award – New Zealand