Sri Lankans tops at Asian cricket awards

KARACHI, July 6, 2008 (AFP) – Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was named best Test bowler of the year and compatriot Kumar Sangakkara the best Test batsman as Sri Lankans dominated the Asian cricket awards at the weekend. Muralitharan, 36, surpassed Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket last year. He now has 735 wickets in 120 Tests.

The awards ceremony held late Saturday marked the silver jubilee of the formation of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).

The gala was held on the sidelines of the ninth Asia Cup. Sri Lanka play India in the final here on Sunday.

India’s Sachin Tendulkar was declared the best batsman of the year in one-day cricket, while Sri Lankan paceman Farveez Maharoof won the award for the best bowler in limited-overs cricket.

The 35-year-old Tendulkar, who missed the Asia Cup due to a groin injury, holds the record for most centuries in one-day cricket with 42 and most runs with 16,361 in 417 matches.

He also holds the record of most Test centuries with 39.

Pakistan’s Aleem Dar was named the best umpire in Asia.

Former captains Imran Khan of Pakistan, Sunil Gavaskar of India and Arjuna Ranatunga of Sri Lanka were honoured with spec