Ravichandran Ashwin thanked his family and captain Virat Kohli after becoming 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 in Dubai on Thursday. (HIGHLIGHTS OF AWARDS)
Ashwin was also adjudged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, which made the Tamil Nadu all-rounder only the second India player after Rahul Dravid (2004) to bag the two coveted prizes in the same year.
South African Jacques Kallis (2005), Ricky Ponting (2006), Kumar Sangakkara (2012), Michael Clarke (2013), Mitchell Johnson (2014) and Steve Smith (2015) are the other players to annex both the awards in the same year.
A delighted Ashwin said: “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.”
During the voting period, which ran from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 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.
“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 (Virat Kohli) has taken over, we fell on the right track, and we now have a new bunch of boys.”
ICC Chief Executive and former South African wicket-keeper David Richardson congratulated Ashwin, saying: “It has been a memorable period for Ashwin, whose consistent all-round and match winning performances have been reflected in the player rankings. He is justifiably now being counted among the best spinners of his generation.
“To win both the ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Cricketer of the Year awards is a major accomplishment. Ashwin’s performances speak for themselves and he is a deserving recipient of the honours. I congratulate him on behalf of the ICC.”