Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. -Photo by AFP

COLOMBO: Seven Asian players including India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara were selected in the International Cricket Council's one-day team of the year on Friday.

Dhoni, who was included in the team for a fifth year in succession, was named captain.

India's Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga, Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal and all rounder Shahid Afridi were also named in the team.

The addition of Ajmal, the top-ranked ODI and Twenty20 bowler, may go some ways to easing anger in Pakistan, where PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf called his omission from individual awards an error, and said he was saddened by it.    The PCB lodged a written protest with the International Cricket Council and his omission last week sparked protests in Pakistan cities. Senior officials will boycott the awards on Saturday in Colombo but some players will attend.

England captain Alastair Cook and paceman Steven Finn, Australian skipper Michael Clarke and South African fast bowler Morne Morkel completed the line-up.

“This team, along with the test team of the year was extremely difficult to decide upon, but we feel the side has strength to bat well down the order while also having a good variety for any type of conditions when it comes to its bowling attack,” former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, the chairman of the ICC Awards selection panel, said.

“With six countries represented and a vast expanse of talent the team would be a challenge to beat for any number of opposition sides.”

“I think we can safely say that this is one of the strongest ODI team of the year selections ever in the awards history,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson added.

ICC one-day team of the Year (in batting order): Gautam Gambhir (India), Alastair Cook (England), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Virat Kohli (India), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India, wicketkeeper/captain), Michael Clarke (Australia), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Morne Morkel (South Africa), Steven Finn (England), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan).

12th Man - Shane Watson (Australia)

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