Dubai, Dec 22 (IANS) India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday was named the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricketer of the Year, while Test skipper Virat Kohli was chosen to lead the ODI Team of the Year.
Ashwin was the only Indian in ICC’s Test Team of the Year and was also named the Test Cricketer of the Year. Batsman Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were named in the ODI team.
Ashwin has become the third India player and 12th player overall to win the Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the best cricketer of the year.
The 30-year-old followed in the footsteps of Rahul Dravid (2004) and Sachin Tendulkar (2010). Other recipients of the prestigious 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 also became only the second India player after Dravid (2004) to bag the two coveted awards 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.
The voting period for the awards was from September 14, 2015, to September 20, 2016.
The Chennai-born played eight Tests in the period, taking 48 wickets and scoring 336 runs. He also claimed 27 wickets in 19 T20s.
He had finished 2015 as the number-one ranked Test bowler, a position he twice reclaimed in 2016.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur congratulated Ashwin on his achievement.
“Many congratulations @ashwinravi99 for getting @ICC Cricketer of the year award. May this award inspire you to greater glory,” he tweeted.
A delighted Ashwin said, as per an ICC release: “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. We’ve had a great transition ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni hung up his boots. A young captain has taken over, we fell on the right track, and we now have a new bunch of boys.”
Pakistan captain Misbah-Ul-Haq won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, becoming the first player of his country to win the award.
South Africa’s Quinton de Kock was selected the ODI Cricketer of the Year.
Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad was named the ICC Associate/Affiliate Cricketer of the Year while the West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite won the T20 International Performance of the Year.
Bangladesh pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman was given the Emerging Cricketer of the Year.
Legends Rahul Dravid, Gary Kirsten and Kumar Sangakkara selected the ICC Test and ODI sides based on players’ performances in the period from September 14, 2015, to September 20 2016.
England’s Alastair Cook was named the captain of the Test Team of the Year, which included four Englishmen, three Australians, and a player each from New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
it was the third time Cook has been appointed captain, while it is the eighth time in nine years that Dale Steyn was selected. Joe Root, David Warner and Kane Williamson have been chosen for the third successive year.
The ODI Team of the Year included three Australians, Indians, South Africans each, and one each from England and the West Indies. AB De Villiers has been selected for the sixth time since 2010, while Starc has been picked up for the third time in four years.
Starc and his team-mate Warner are the only two players to have been selected in both the Test and ODI sides in 2016.
The Test team: David Warner (Australia), Alastair Cook (England, captain), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Joe Root (England), Adam Voges (Australia), Jonny Bairstow (England, wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes (England), R. Ashwin (India), Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Steve Smith (Australia)
The ODI team: David Warner (Australia), Quinton de Kock (South Africa, wicketkeeper), Rohit Sharma (India), Virat Kohli, (India, captain), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Jos Buttler (England), Mitchell Marsh (Australia), Ravindra Jadeja (India), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Kagiso Rabada (South Africa), Sunil Narine (West Indies), Imran Tahir (South Africa)