Friday, December 03, 2010

Cricket News: Tendulkar in fray for Laureus award

Come February and master blaster Sachin Tendulkar could join a very select and privileged group of sportsmen, which includes Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Michael Schumacher, who have been honoured with the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

But first he has to beat the likes of Muttiah Muralidharan, one of the world’s greatest spinners, tennis star Rafael Nadal, Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel, star footballers Diego Forlan, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, and boxer Manny Pacquiao. Six nominees will be chosen from this elite list before the Laureus Media Selection Panel votes to chose the 2011 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.

The other sportsmen in the nomination ring are golfer Graeme McDowell, MotoGP racer Jorge Lorenzo, swimmer Camille Lacourt and jockey AP McCoy. The names of the final six nominees will be announced in early January.

Tendulkar along with Vettel, Nadal are the favourites to get nominated. Tendulkar has had an amazing year. In February, he became the first man to score a double century in a one-day international, hitting an unbeaten 200 for India against South Africa. Then in October he became the first man to score 14,000 runs in Test cricket during the second Test against Australia in Bangalore. It was in this match that he scored his 49th Test century.

Unsurprisingly, he was named International Cricket Council Player of the Year. Muralidharan, on the other hand, is unarguably one of the greatest spinners of all time. The Sri Lankan took his world record 800th Test wicket on the final day of his career in Galle in July 2010. It left him 92 wickets ahead of his nearest rival, Australian's Shane Warne, now also retired.

Star footballers Forlan, Iniesta and Messi will also hope to become the first ever team sport players to win this individual award.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during 2010, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.

The eventual winner will then be chosen from the final list of nominees by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, and will be unveiled during a televised Awards Ceremony in Abu Dhabi on February 7.

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