Woman could stump Clarke for gong

WEST Indies all-rounder Stafanie Taylor could stump Australian captain Michael Clarke's bid to win cricket's top individual award, the ICC Cricketer of the Year.

The 21-year-old Taylor, a hard-hitting batsman and off-spin bowler, has played herself into the history books by becoming the first woman to be nominated for the prestigious award.

Taylor, the Women's Cricketer of the Year last year, and Clarke are two of nine players nominated to be the winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.

Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, South Africans Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, Englishmen Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad, and India's Virat Kohli are the others in the running. The winner will be announced in Colombo on September 15.

Queensland Fire representative and Australian Twenty20 World Cup preliminary squad member Beth Mooney said it was fantastic to see Taylor mix it with the men.

"I really think it's great for the women's game," Mooney said, "I don't know if she will win it (the award), but just being nominated is a huge honour for all the women who play the ame throughout the world - it gives everyone something to aspire to."

Clarke has also been nominated for the Test Cricketer and ODI Cricketer of the Year awards.

Other Australians nominated for awards are Shane Watson in the ODI Cricketer of the Year, Jess Cameron and Lisa Sthalekar in the women's ODI Cricketer of the Year, and Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson and Matthew Wade in the Emerging Cricketer of the Year award.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has dropped veterans Younis Khan and Umar Gul from the one-day squad for the three-match series against Australia in the UAE later this month.

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