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Clarke named ICC's Test captain of year
By Greg Buckle
18:37 AEST Thu Aug 30 2012

Australia's Michael Clarke woke to a pleasant surprise on Thursday morning when a mate texted him to say he was named captain of the ICC's Test team of the year.

Clarke has also been short-listed for Test player of the year and the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the year, with the awards to be announced in Colombo on September 15.

The 31-year-old has had the Midas touch as skipper, leading Australia's resurgence in Test cricket since replacing Ricky Ponting as captain last year. This was highlighted by a 4-0 series win over India at home.

Clarke crashed 626 Test runs against India, including an unbeaten 329 at the SCG. The NSW right-hander hit 1355 runs at 58.91 in 14 Tests with five hundreds in the voting period of August 4 2011 to August 6 2012.

Clarke was the only Australian named in the ICC's Test eleven.

South Africa's Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara are the other three nominees for the Sobers Trophy.

Amla and Philander were joined by fellow South Africans Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn in the Test team of the year.

"I found out via a text message this morning from a mate just saying congratulations," Clarke told a media conference in Abu Dhabi.

"It's certainly an honour to be named in the Test team of the year, let alone be captain.

"To be nominated for the other awards is something you don't really think about as an individual player.

"It's very pleasing. It was a surprise to me to wake up this morning and see that text message.

"But my focus is solely on this series and Australia having success in these three one-dayers against Pakistan."

Australian pace bowler James Pattinson has been short-listed for the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year award.

Clarke says the 22-year-old Victorian is going to be a key player for Australia for a long time.

"It's very positive for James Pattinson. It (the nomination) continues to show the talent he has and how important he is to Australian cricket," Clarke said.

"He's one of a handful of fast bowlers that we have at the moment with a lot of talent and we just want to see that talent turn into performance and 'Patto' has done that over the last 12 months.

"He's continuing to improve, every opportunity he gets."

Australia's Lisa Sthalekar and Alyssa Healy have been nominated for the ICC Women's T20 International Cricketer of the Year.

Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker have been nominated for The David Shepherd Trophy for umpire of the year.

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