Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara has been named the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2012 at the LG ICC Awards.
During the performance period, he played 14 Tests and in 27 innings, he compiled 1,444 runs at an average of 60.16, including five centuries and five half-centuries. His highest score of 211 came against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in October 2011, while he also scored 199 not out against the same side on home soil in Galle.
The independent voting academy of 32 highly credentialed cricket experts put Sangakkara first, ahead of an impressive group of players that had been short-listed, including Hashim Amla, Vernon Philander and Australia captain, Michael Clarke.
Sangakkara received the award from Test batting legend Brian Lara and was thrilled to be accepting the award in front of his home crowd in Colombo and said: "I'm continuing to ensure I am consistent and I need to keep raising the bar each year and keep trying harder and harder to ensure I keep playing good Test cricket. It's a constant battle but I have the support of a great team that helps me to do the best I can.
"I think I continue to learn from the youngsters in the team and will continue to grow as a player hopefully and it's a great honour to receive this award this evening."
Based on the period between Aug 4 2011 and Aug 6 2012, the LG ICC Awards 2012 take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.
For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Spirit of Cricket Award and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to a 32-person Voting Academy made up of former players, respected members of the media, an elite umpire and an elite match referee. They voted on a three, two, one basis (with three being the highest value) and the winners emerged.
That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012 held in the UAE, the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh in 2011, various rounds of the ICC Intercontinental Cup, as well as numerous Pepsi ICC World Cricket League and Championship fixtures, plus several bilateral Test and ODI series.
The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its ninth year and this year it will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004 and 2011), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).