It turned out to be double delight for Ravichandran Ashwin at the ICC Annual Awards here on Thursday as he became only the third Indian player ever to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year besides the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.
The off-spinner thus became the third Indian player and 12th overall to win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. Ashwin follows in the footsteps of Rahul Dravid (2004) and Sachin Tendulkar (2010), while other recipients of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy include Andrew Flintoff and Jacques Kallis (joint-winners in 2005), Ricky Ponting (2006 and 2007), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008), Mitchell Johnson (2009 and 2014), Jonathan Trott (2011), Kumar Sangakkara (2012), Michael Clarke (2013) and Steve Smith (2015).
Ashwin was also adjudged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, which has made him only the second Indian player after Dravid (2004) to bag the two coveted prizes in the same year.
Kallis (2005), Ponting (2006), Sangakkara (2012), Clarke (2013), Johnson (2014) and Smith (2015) are the other players to annex both the awards in the same year.
During the voting period, which ran from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016, the 30-year-old off-spinner from Chennai played eight Tests in which he took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs. Ashwin also claimed 27 wickets in 19 T20Is.
Reacting to the news, a delighted Ashwin said, “It’s an absolute pleasure to be awarded with this great honour. It feels great to follow the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in being named as the ICC Cricketer of the Year. To also win the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year makes it even better.”
“There are a lot of people to thank for this wonderful achievement I have made. It has been a great couple of years but this year has been even more special. What is very noticeable is the way I have bowled and batted and the way I have gone about doing my business. What is more important, as far as I am concerned, is the number of people who have gone behind my success. I’d like to dedicate this award to my family. I’d like to thank ICC and most importantly my team-mates. I’d also like to thank the support staff for our success.” he added.
Among other awards, South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year. He is the second South Africa player after AB de Villiers (2010, 2014 and 2015) and ninth overall to clinch this award.
Besides, West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite won the ICC T20I Performance of the Year award for his match-winning 34 not out off 10 balls in the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 final against England in Kolkata.
Bangladesh fast bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman was named ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year award.
Afghanistan’s flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad also won the ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year after he finished as the leading ODI run-scorer with 699 runs in 16 one-day matches.