Emerging Player of the Year Award Ian Bell - 2006 Winner England batsman Ian Bell was named as Emerging Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Mumbai. The 24-year-old batsman claimed the prize after impressing the 56-strong ICC Voting Academy. During the voting period of 1 August 2005 – 8 August 2006, Bell played 13 Tests, scoring 958 runs at an average of 41.65. He hit four centuries and five fifties in that time. In the 10 ODIs he played during the voting period he averaged 45.87, playing some important innings for England along the way. A delighted Bell said: “It has been a good year for me. It is a massive honour for me to win this award and I would just really like to say thank you to everyone in England for helping me to get this far. My team-mates have been great over the past year – it has been really good fun to play with them.” ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said: “For some players it can take a long time to get used to life at the top level but Ian has done very well in a short space of time and he clearly has a very exciting career ahead of him. “On behalf of ICC I would like to offer Ian our congratulations. He is a fine player and seems to be growing in confidence every time he goes out into the middle,” he said. Bell is the third recipient of the Emerging Player of the Year award following on from team-mate Kevin Pietersen last year and India's Irfan Pathan in 2004. The Emerging Player of the Year was one of ten individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented by Hyundai in association with FICA (the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations). Voting for the Emerging Player of the Year was completed by the 56-member ICC Awards voting Academy who cast a 3-2-1 vote (3 votes being the greater value) from the list of nominees, with the votes tallied to produce a winner. The voting Academy included the 10 ICC Full Member captains, the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Referees, the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and several other legends of the game and respected members of the media. The voting period for the award was from 1 August 2005 to 8 August 2006. Players eligible for the award had to be under 26 years of age at the start of the voting period (1 August 2005) and have played no more than five Tests and/or 10 ODIs before that date. Bell beat off fellow England batsman Alastair Cook, Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammed Asif and left-arm England spinner Monty Panesar to secure the Emerging Player award. The Warwickshire batsman received the trophy from Brian Lara, who himself had several very successful seasons at with the same English county side. The trophy, produced by Swarovski, features a crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, cusped in a hand which extends from an aluminium base. The hand represents the theme of “breaking through” in pursuit of excellence. The trophy features a clear crystal ball, weighs 1.2 kilograms, is 30 centimetres high and 11 centimetres in width.