Sachin Tendulkar, who was named Cricketer of the Year in 2010 when the awards function was held in Bangalore, missed out this time as England's Jonathan Trott won the top award.
Trott beat competition from his team-mate Alastair Cook and South Africa's Hashim Amla, besides Tendulkar.
India's opening batsman Gautam Gambhir also missed out the ODI Player of the Year Award which was won by Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.
Another England player Alastair Cook won the Test Cricketer of the Year Award for his superb form in the longest format of the game in the past 12 months.
Dhoni turned out to be the lone Indian to win an ICC award this year. Despite being wrapped up in an intense and difficult Test series in England, Dhoni showed the right spirit in agreeing to allow Bell to continue batting when he was run out.
On what was the last ball before tea on the third day, Bell hit the ball towards the boundary. He mistakenly thought it had gone for four, left his crease and headed towards the pavilion assuming the session was over and the ball dead. The ball, which had not reached the rope and therefore was still in play, was returned to the middle, the bails removed and Bell was correctly given run out.
Upon reflection during the tea interval and following a request from the England team, Dhoni withdrew the appeal and recalled Bell thus turning boos into cheers from the appreciative Nottingham crowd.
Commenting on Dhoni's gesture, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said, 'While the initial appeal and umpire decision were correct to the letter of the law, the decision by Mahendra and his team to withdraw the appeal shows great maturity. To see players and officials uphold the Great Spirit of cricket, which has underpinned the game for more than a century, is very special.'
Dhoni's gesture was voted as the winner ahead of that of South Africa's Jacques Kallis, who twice demonstrated such spirit during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 by walking once he had clarified with opposition fielders directly that they had caught the ball cleanly rather than waiting for the umpires to decide.
This award is voted by the members of the Emirates Elite Panels of ICC Match Referees and Umpires.
Trott, on the other hand, had an extraordinary 12 months as a batsman. In 12 Tests, he compiled 1,042 runs at an average of 65.12, including four centuries and three half-centuries. In addition, he played 24 ODIs, hitting 1,064 runs at an average of 48.36 with two centuries and nine 50s.
In that time he has helped his team retain the Ashes in Australia, reach the quarter-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and also register other Test series victories against Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.
Trott follows in the footsteps of India's Rahul Dravid (2004), Andrew Flintoff of England and South Africa's Jacques Kallis (joint winners in 2005), Ricky Ponting of Australia (2006 and 2007), West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008), Mitchell Johnson of Australia (2009) and Tendulkar (2010) to take the top award.
Trott accepted the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy from ICC President Sharad Pawar at the ceremony.
His teammate Cook played 12 Tests and in 18 innings, he compiled 1,302 runs at an average of 51.74, including six centuries and four half-centuries. His highest score of 235 not out against Australia at Brisbane helped his team towards series victory as it won the Ashes away from home for the first time since the 1986-87 season.
The independent voting academy of 25 highly credentialed cricket experts put Cook first, ahead of an impressive group of players that had been short-listed, including England team-mates Jonathan Trott and James Anderson, as well as Jacques Kallis of South Africa, who previously won this award in 2005.
Sangakkara had a superb year of ODI cricket. During the performance period, he played 25 ODIs and compiled 1,049 runs at an average of 55.21, including one century and seven half-centuries.
As wicketkeeper, he also took 36 victims comprising 26 catches and 10 stumpings. Despite that busy workload, he still managed to lead his country to the ICC Cricket World Cup final in Mumbai where they lost narrowly to home team India.
He beat competition from Australia's Shane Watson, and South Africa's Hashim Amla, besides that of Gambhir.
Sangakkara also became the second-ever recipient of the LG People's Choice Award. Sangakkara was voted to the award by the general public and beat off strong competition for the award from South Africa's Hashim Amla, England's Jonathan Trott, West Indies' Chris Gayle and Dhoni.
The award, which was introduced last year at the LG ICC Awards in Bangalore, was chosen by cricket fans around the world who, over the course of four weeks had the opportunity to vote for their favourite player.
The cricketers were selected on the basis of some really innovative parameters, in sync with the values that embody brand LG, by a five-man ICC selection panel chaired by former West Indies captain and current chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee Clive Lloyd.
The values by which the winner was judged include innovation, dynamism, strength in decision-making, performing well under pressure and executing a plan to distinction. The winner of this award should demonstrate an ability to engage spectators and should also embody the game's unique spirit, both on and off the field.
Up-and-coming West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo was named as the Emerging Player of the Year 2011.
The 25-year-old, who played in five Test matches in the voting period and took 21 wickets with an average of 35.42, has made an impact within the West Indies side with his attacking approach that yields considerable turn and bounce.
He also played in 11 ODIs, bagging 19 wickets at an average of 21.57.
Bishoo was the top choice of the 25-person voting academy, coming in ahead of team-mate Darren Bravo, and Pakistan pair of Wahab Riaz and Azhar Ali.
The Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate has become the ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year for the second successive year.
The voting academy chose ten Doeschate over other top Associate and Affiliate players including Afghanistan’s Hamid Hassan and the Ireland duo of Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien. It is the third time ten Doeschate has claimed the award, the first time he picked up the title was in 2008 while he also won the award last year.