Here are the list of nominees for the categories ODI player and Emerging player of the year for the ICC 2006 Cricket Awards:
Yuvraj Singh (Ind), Michael Hussey (Aus), Ricky Ponting (Aus), Shane Bond (NZ), Irfan Pathan (Ind), Andrew Flintoff (Eng), Mahela Jayawardene (SL), Muttiah Muralidaran (SL), Rahul Dravid (Ind), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Mohammed Yousuf (Pak), Herschelle Gibbs (SA), Brett Lee (Aus), Shahid Afridi (Pak), Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak), Adam Gilchrist (Aus), Kumar Sangakkara (SL).
Monty Panesar (Eng), Alastair Cook (Eng), Denesh Ramdin (WI), Malinga Bandara (SL), Mohammed Asif (Pak), Upul Tharanga (SL), Ian Bell (Eng), Shahriar Nafees (BD).
We only realise how glaring Dhoni's omission actually is when we check out the Emerging player category. None of the names on that list have been anything close to the best in the world, other than possibly Asif, who is consistent, quick and deadly accurate, picking up a truckload of wickets at a miniscule average. In fact, other than Dhoni, none of them even feature in the any Top 10, ODI or Test, batting or bowling and haven't in the last year.
So why was Dhoni left out? Why is Allan Donald, a part of the shortlising committee for the awards so shocked at his omission? Unless the ICC has any answers, this is just going to be yet another cricket controversy swept to fine leg and beyond.