Rookie Finn nets top ICC gong but Swann edged out

ENGLAND fast bowler Steven Finn was handed a pre-Ashes boost yesterday after being named the ICC Emerging Player of the Year.

The 6ft 8in Middlesex paceman beat off competition from Pakistan’s Umar Akmal, Sri Lanka’s Angelo Matthews and Tim Paine, of Australia, to land the top gong in Bangalore.

But there was no such luck for spinner Graeme Swann, who was pipped by Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar to the ICC Cricketer of the Year prize.

Finn, 21, played in six Test matches during the voting period, taking 27 wickets at an average of 21.85.

Receiving his award from legendary West Indies bowler Joel Garner, Finn said: “It’s a great honour to win this, an award I wasn’t expecting and I’m very pleased and honoured to be playing Test match cricket for my country. I’ve enjoyed the last few months representing my country and I hope it continues.

“Next up is the Ashes and I think we’re well prepared to win the series – we’ve got a settled side ready to go for this winter.”

Swann, meanwhile, missed out despite taking 49 wickets in Tests and 28 in one-day internationals during the qualification period. He was short-listed along with Tendulkar, fellow India batsman Virender Sehwag and South Africa’s Hashim Amla.

Meanwhile, the appeals by the three Pakistan cricketers against their suspension over ‘spot-fixing’ allegations will be heard in Doha over two days starting in on 30 and 31 October.

Captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have been charged by the ICC following allegations made in the News of the World.