RAGING debate gathered momentum on social networking sites yesterday, with the opinion of cricket fans divided following the ICC Awards in Colombo at the weekend.
Who deserved the top awards more, winner Kumar Sangakkara, or unlucky loser Hashim Amla?
There were arguments for both sides, with some adding fuel to the fire by demanding a reason why Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, who took 72 test wickets at an average of 24.29 in the last year, was not included in the short list.
Sri Lankan Sangakkara scooped three awards, on the night, including the "People's Choice" award, a popularity contest.
But it was his winning of the Cricketer of the Year and the Test Cricketer of the Year awards that sparked heated exchanges on Facebook and Twitter.
There is no doubt that Sangakkara's weight of runs made him a worthy candidate but Amla's quality, both home and away, is also undeniable.
The independent judging panel apparently placed more weight on test cricket performances than those in limited- overs cricket.
In the qualifying period from August 4 last year until August 6 this year, Sangakkara scored 1444 runs in 14 tests, at an average of 60.16. Amla managed 915 in 10 at 65.35 per innings.
In 37 ODIs, the Sri Lankan accumulated 1457 runs at 42.85, while the bearded South African warrior rattled up 419 in eight matches at 52.37.
It is a fact that players on the sub-continent see more one-day cricket than elsewhere in the world.
One could argue that in Amla's case, the deficit of runs has been balanced by the strength of opposition and the trying nature of conditions.
He scored a series-defining 311 not out against a quality English attack at The Oval.
Unfortunately, his second-innings century at Lord's in the third test and ODI 150 in Southampton fell outside of the qualifying period.
The award winners were:
Cricketer of the year: Kumar Sangakkara (SRI); other nominees Hashim Amla (RSA) Michael Clarke (AUS) Vernon Philander (RSA)
Test cricketer of the year: Kumar Sangakkara (SRI); other nominees Hashim Amla (RSA), Michael Clarke (AUS), Vernon Philander (RSA)
One-day cricketer of the year: Virat Kohli (IND)
Women's one-day cricketer of the year: Stafanie Taylor (WI)
Emerging cricketer of the year: Sunil Narine (WI)
Associate and Affiliate cricketer of the year: George Dockrell (IRL)
Twenty20 international performance of the year: Richard Levi (RSA) for his 117 not out off 51 balls v New Zealand
Women's Twenty20 cricketer of the year: Sarah Taylor (ENG)
Umpire of the year: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
Spirit of cricket award: Daniel Vettori (NZL); other nominees Mohammad Hafeez (PAK), Jacques Kallis (RSA), AB de Villiers (RSA)
People's choice award: Kumar Sangakkara (SRI); other nominees James Anderson (ENG), Jacques Kallis (RSA), Vernon Philander (RSA), Sachin Tendulkar (IND)