Recently retired cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar expectedly walked away with the Cricketer of the Generation award at the ESPN-Cricinfo 2013 awards ceremony here on Friday night.

Martin Crowe and Rahul Dravid, part of the awards jury, spoke about the difficulty in choosing the recipient for this particular award. “We were asked to single out one name from among many greats who have done great service for cricket and their country,” said Dravid, a contemporary of the legends who were on the shortlist. The duo also spoke about the state of the game with the former New Zealand skipper saying, “I am in awe of the fact that we have seen a wonderful year of cricket.”

Dravid meanwhile felt, “The year has seen amazing Test matches played on quality wickets. I really believe Test cricket can prosper along with other formats, if there are good tracks on offer and as long as care is taken to see that T20 doesn’t go out of hand.

Dravid added: “Last year was also a time to introspect, about where the game is heading and about the purity in cricket.” The former India captain was in charge of Rajasthan Royals when the match-fixing controversy broke out during IPL 2013. Asked about the notable changes between 1993 and 2013, Dravid said, “The game has become more professional. Fitness and support staff have come in and taken the game to a different level.”

ESPN-Cricinfo 2013 award-winners list: Sachin Tendulkar (Cricketer of the Generation); Tarak Sinha (Contribution to Cricket); Mohammed Shami (Debut of the Year); Rohit Sharma (ODI batting performance of the Year); Shahid Afridi (ODI bowling performance of the Year); Shikhar Dhawan (Test batting performance of the Year); Mitchell Johnson (Test bowling performance of the Year).

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