Kenya all-rounder Thomas Odoyo was tonight named as the winner of the inaugural Associate ODI Player of the Year at the ICC Awards ceremony in Johannesburg.

The 29-year-old from Nairobi beat off strong competition to take the award after a fine season for his country.

In 19 ODIs during the voting period (9 August 2006 to 8 August 2007), including two for Africa XI against Asia XI at the Afro-Asia Cup in India, Odoyo took 27 wickets with his right-arm medium pace at an average of 24.25, including three four-wicket hauls. In that time he also scored 488 runs at an average of 48.80 and with a brisk strike-rate of 85.61 runs per hundred balls.

His efforts were instrumental in securing victory for Kenya at the inaugural ICC World Cricket League Division 1 in Nairobi last February and he also represented his country at the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies in March.

Competition for this award was stiff and Odoyo narrowly beat off the challenge of other short-listed candidates, fellow Kenyan Steve Tikolo, Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate and Canada wicketkeeper-batsman Ashish Bagai.

Accepting his award, Odoyo said: 'It is a great honour for me. It's the first time for an Associate player to win an ICC Award so I am truly delighted.

'When we (Kenya) played in the first ICC World Cricket League I really played well and helped my team to win the competition.

'Hopefully this will encourage more guys in Kenya to play the game and that can only be a good thing. It is a great day for me.'

Odoyo received his award from Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara.