©INPHO/James Crombie Paul Stirling, left, and Kevin O'Brien have both been nominated for the ICC Award.

Irish quartet top cricket award shortlist

Ireland’s cricketers dominate the shortlist for this year’s ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year Award.

IRELAND’S STATUS AS cricket’s top affiliate nation was underlined again on Thursday with the announcement of the shortlists for the LG ICC Awards 2012.

Kevin O’Brien, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling were all nominated for the ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year award, which will be presented in Sri Lanka next month.

Afghanistan’s Dawlat Zadran was the only non-Irish player to feature on the five-man shortlist.

South African duo Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, Australian captain Michael Clarke and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka have all been shortlisted for the ICC’s top award, the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year.

The recognition for the Irish quartet follows an excellent spring for Phil Simmons’ men. In March, Ireland won the World T20 Qualifier in Sri Lanka to qualify for next month’s finals in Sri Lanka.

The longlists of nominations were drawn up by a five-man selection panel and presented to a jury of 32 top cricket personalities who then whittled it down to the top contenders in each of the 11 categories.

The award ceremony takes place in Colombo on 15 September, three days before the World T20 finals begin. Ireland face Australia in their opening game on 19 September.

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