Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke wins ICC's best player for 2013
Australia's Michael Clarke smiles after beating England during the fifth day of the second Ashes cricket test match between England and Australia, in Adelaide, Australia, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013.(AP Photo/James Elsby)
Published Friday, December 13, 2013 9:01AM EST
PERTH, Australia -- Australia skipper Michael Clarke collected the International Cricket Council's best player award for 2013 on Friday, the day he started his 100th test.
Clarke was the leading run scorer in tests in the qualifying period in the 12 months to Aug. 25, scoring 1,559 runs at an average of 70.86 including five centuries.
"I was very surprised ... because there are so many guys who are playing so well around the world at the moment," Clarke said of the award.
Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara was voted the ICC's limited-overs international cricketer of the year and India's Cheteshwar Pujara was named as the Emerging Cricketer of the Year.
Clarke was earlier included in the 2013 test team of the year, which is led by England captain Alastair Cook.
Both Cook and Clarke were playing their 100th test matches in the third Ashes test at Perth, with the England captain catching his Australian counterpart.
Clarke's stunning run with the bat in the award qualifying period coincided with some tough times for Australian cricket, including the 4-0 series loss in India and the 3-0 Ashes loss in England.
"I'd swap it for the team to have success, that's for sure," Clarke said.
Australia has rebounded on home soil in the return Ashes series, winning back-to-back tests in Brisbane and Adelaide to lead the five-match series coming to Perth.