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Murali takes cricket’s top award today

Mahela Best Batsman of the Year:

Sri Lanka’s captain Mahela Jayawardena and champion off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will leave for India today to receive two top awards at the CEAT Cricket Awards Ceremony which will be held later in the day in Mumbai.

Off spinner Muralitharan will receive two awards, the Best Bowler and the CEAT International Cricket of the year while Jayawardena will receive the best batsman’s award. The CEAT Cricket Ratings are overseen by cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar, who is the adjudicator for the ratings.

The CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) is the first cricket rating to officially recognize and reward cricketers for their performances in the international cricket arena. The awards will also honour the best of the Indian cricketers based on their performances as rated by the CEAT Cricket ratings (CCR) for the year 2006 - 2007.

For Muralitharan this will be a memorable occasion as he will be receiving the CEAT International Cricketer of the year award for the third time having made his mark in two successive years in 2000/01 and again in 2001/02.

Muralitharan is the only player to have won this award on three occasions with West Indian Brian Lara, South African all rounder Jaques Kallis and Australian captain Ricky Ponting having won the title on two earlier occasions.

uralitharan who needs nine scalps to become the highest wicket taker in Test cricket is also the second Sri Lankan cricketer to receive this prestigious award after Sanath Jayasuriya who carried away the award in 1997/98. The first recipient of this award was of course former West Indies captain Brian Lara.

Skipper Jayawardena will be receiving a CEAT Award for the first time following some outstanding contributions with the bat during the current year. The solid right hand middle order batsman had a highly successful season where he accumulated a total of 1089 runs including two hundreds and eight fifties from 32 one day internationals at an average of 37.55.

The Ceat Cricket Rating Awards 2006-07 for cricketing excellence will be in four categories - Best Bowler, Best Batsman, Best Cricketer and Best Cricket Team. While the Best Bowler and Best Batsman will receive cash reward of US $5,000 the Best Cricketer will receive US $7,500 and Best Team will receive a cash reward of US $ 10,000.

he CEAT Cricket Year commences on 1st May and ends on 30th April of the following calendar year. The cricketer and team that accumulate the highest number of points in their respective categories at the end of this twelve-month period are declared the CEAT Cricket Rating International Cricketer and Team of the Year respectively.

orld champions Australia made a clean sweep in the International Cricket Rating Awards for 2005-06 as they won the Ceat Team of the year award, the Ceat International Cricketer of the year award (Ricky Ponting) and the Debutante of the year award

(Mike Hussey).

The past winners of the CEAT Cricket Ratings:

Year		Cricketer of the Year		Team of the Year
1995-96		Brian Lara			Not announced
1996-97		Venkatesh Prasad		Pakistan 
1997-98		Sanath Jayasuriya		Australia 
1998-99		Jacques Kallis			South Africa 
1999-00		Sourav Ganguly			Australia 
2000-01		Muttiah Muralitharan		South Africa 
2001-02		Muttiah Muralitharan		Australia 
2002-03		Ricky Ponting			Australia 
2003-04		Brian Lara			Australia 
2004-05		Jacques Kallis			Australia 
2005-06		Ricky Ponting			Australia

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