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    Dharmasena wins ICC Umpire of Year Award

    It is the first time the Sri Lankan has received the ICC award, which was renamed in 2010 after the late England umpire David Shepherd.

    Colombo: Kumar Dharmasena on Saturday won the David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year 2012 at the ICC Awards ceremony in Colombo. Sri Lankan has won the David Shepherd Trophy for first time. Dharmasena, 41, received the award following the voting by the 10 Test Full Member captains as well as the seven-man Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.

    The Sri Lankan was judged on his decision statistics and officiating skills during the last year. It is the first time the Sri Lankan has received the ICC award, which was renamed in 2010 after the late England umpire David Shepherd.

    Dharmasena, who accepted his award from leagandary Graham Gooch said that, “This award means a lot to me, after playing cricket for 12 years. It’s for the Sri Lankan umpires and the community who looked after my growth. Honestly, I feel I had a great year on and off the field and I feel having been a cricketer has helped me with my decision making as an umpire and to give better decisions.

    "This is one of the best awards I could have got as an individual as I only joined the Elite Panel a year ago, it's a really honour."

    The Sri Lankan faced strong competition from his colleagues on the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires Billy Bowden, Rodney Tucker, Richard Kettleborough, five-time winner Simon Taufel and three-time ICC Umpire of the Year Aleem Dar.

    Dharmasena, who made his international debut as an umpire in 2009, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in May 2011. In the voting period he stood in seven Tests and 13 ODIs. Prior to umpiring, Dharmasena represented Sri Lanka in 31 Test matches and 141 ODIs and was part of Sri Lanka’s 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup winning side.