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Irish pair up for Player of the Year crown

By Ian Callender

Ed Joyce and Kevin O'Brien are on the shortlist for this year's ICC Associate Player of the Year.

The Ireland internationals will be up against Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer and former Afghanistan skipper Nawroz Mangal for the prestigious award won last year by Ireland's George Dockrell.

The performances are based in the year from August 7, 2012 to August 25, 2013 when Ireland played at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and became the first Associate team to qualify for the 2015 ICC World Cup.

Joyce scored two centuries, against the UAE and Pakistan, and 96 not out against the Netherlands in the game which confirmed Ireland's place at their third successive 50-over World Cup.

O'Brien's top score in the period was his man of the match 84 not out which earned Ireland a tie against the Pakistanis in Dublin. He also seven wickets in the two ODIs against the Dutch in Amstelveen.

Meanwhile, England captain Alastair Cook and fast bowler James Anderson have been named on the six-man short-list for the ICC Cricketer of the Year award for 2013.

The England duo are joined on the list of nominations by South Africa's Hashim Amla, Australia's Michael Clarke, Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.

Anderson, Amla and Clarke are also among the six players in the running for the Test Cricketer of the Year, along with India pair Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin, plus South Africa paceman Dale Steyn.

Sangakkara won both awards in 2012.

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