England’s Test cricketers have been shortlisted for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards, in the World Team of the Year category, after a successful 2011 in which they rose to No. 1 in the ICC world rankings following their 3-1 victory in Australia and their subsequent 4-0 whitewashing of India.
England are one of six teams on the shortlist, alongside the All Blacks, who recaptured the Rugby World Cup for the first time since 1987, and FC Barcelona, who beat Manchester United in the final of the Champions League in May to claim their second title in three years. The basketball team, Dallas Mavericks, who won their first-ever NBA championship; the Japan Women’s World Cup-winning football team, and the Red Bull Formula One motor racing team complete the line-up.
The 2012 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony, which will be broadcast to a worldwide TV audience, will be staged at Central Hall, Westminster in the heart of London on the evening of Monday, February 6. Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic and Lionel Messi are the most notable names in the running for the premier category, World Sportsman of the Year.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “I am excited that the Laureus World Sports Awards and the Laureus Sport for GoodFoundation have decided to bring the Awards to London for 2012. Laureus and I share a commitment to making sport a positive part of everyone’s life regardless of age and ability. Celebrating the power of sport here inLondon with the world’s sporting superstars will provide the perfect start to our Olympic year and it marks the beginning of a real and long-lasting grassroots sports legacy for London and beyond.”
Among the winners who have received Awards at previous Awards Ceremonies have been Jenson Button, Roger Federer, Sir Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Justine Henin, Kelly Holmes, Rafael Nadal, Sir Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane.