Dale Steyn and Graeme Smith will vie for the Cricketer of the Year award in
Dubai on Wednesday.
It is a reflection of the outstanding form that the
Proteas have displayed during the past 12 months that they provide two of the
four nominees for the top award.

The other two contenders are Shivnarine
Chanderpaul of the West Indies and Sri Lankan captain Mahela

It also means there will be a new name on this trophy as
none of the four has ever won it before.

Players who have secured the
game’s top individual honour in the past are Rahul Dravid of India (2004),
England’s Andrew Flintoff and Jacques Kallis of South Africa (joint winners in
2005) and Australia captain Ricky Ponting (back-to-back winner in 2006 and

Steyn is the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket for the past
year while Smith has led South Africa to victory in five out of their last six
Test series with the other one (in India) being drawn.

He has also
contributed five individual centuries, a world record first-wicket partnership
which also enabled him to become the only South African to score four Test
double centuries and was until recently the world’s No 1 ranked ODI

His unbeaten 150 in the fourth innings of the recent third Test
against England at Edgbaston to clinch the series win was one of the 10 highest
of all time in a fourth innings successful runs chase.

South Africa also
has two candidates for Test cricketer of the year in Steyn and Jacques Kallis
(six Test centuries in the period under review) who will again compete with
Chanderpaul and Jayawardena.

A fourth South African to be nominated is
fast bowler Morne Morkel in the Emerging Player category.

He faces tough
opposition from Sri Lanka’s new mystery spinner, Ajantha Mendis, England
all-rounder Stuart Broad and Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma.

Africa’s Rudi Koertzen is one of five nominations as umpire of the year while
Cape Town-born Ryan ten Doeschate, who now plays for the Netherlands, has been
nominated in the Associate Player of the Year category.

The shortlists
for the LG ICC Awards 2008 are as follows:

Cricketer of the Year –
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mahela Jayawardena, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn

Player of the Year – Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mahela Jayawardena, Jacques Kallis,
Dale Steyn

ODI Player of the Year – Nathan Bracken, Mahendra Singh, Dhoni
Sachin, Tendulkar Mohammad Yousuf

Emerging Player of the Year – Stuart
Broad, Ajantha Mendis, Morne Morkel, Ishant Sharma

Associate Player of
the Year – Ryan ten Doeschate, Alex Obanda, Niall O’Brien, Thomas

Twenty20 International Performance of the Year – Chris Gayle,
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Brett Lee, Yuvraj Singh

Women’s Player of the Year
– Nicola Browne, Charlotte Edwards, Lisa Sthalekar, Claire Taylor

of Cricket – Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies

Umpire of
the Year – Mark Benson, Aleem Dar, Steve Davis, Rudi Koertzen, Simon Taufel.