Indian spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin became the third India player and 12th player overall to win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being named as the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016.
Ashwin entered the elite club of his illustrious Indian counterparts like Rahul Dravid (2004) and Sachin Tendulkar (2010), while other eminent 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 India 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 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016, the 30-year-old from Chennai played eight Tests in which he took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs. Ashwin also claimed 27 wickets in 19 T20Is. Ashwin had finished 2015 as the number-one ranked Test bowler in the world, a position he twice reclaimed in 2016.
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.
— ICC (@ICC) December 22, 2016