New Delhi: Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday received the Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016 as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016 from former India captains and ICC Cricket Hall of Famers Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar respectively.
The 30-year old spin wizard played eight Tests during the voting period, which ran from 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016. He picked up 48 wickets and scored 336 runs during this time. 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. Ashwin on winning the ICC awards said: "It has been a great honour to be named by the ICC for two top awards and it is dreamlike to actually receive them here.
"I'd like to thank all my team-members, team management and support staff for helping me perform. I hope to continue doing well and help my team win many matches in the coming years.
"I thank my family and also would like to remember my uncle who passed away suddenly during this game. My uncle’s family has also been a pillar of support all these years.
"I thank the ICC for recognizing and encouraging players with these awards because such moments always remain in one’s memory.”
Kapil Dev, who jointly presented the awards to Ashwin lauded the off-spinners efforts.
"Congratulations to Ashwin for winning this ICC award. Ashwin has shown his penchant for winning Test matches time and again. He has played a big part in India becoming the top-ranked Test side. Not for nothing has he himself been ranked the number-one bowler on the ICC Test rankings for so many weeks.
Sunil Gavaskar, who too was part of the presentation party congratulated Ashwin for being able to pick up wickets cosnistently in all three formats of the game.
"India has always produced some of the finest spin bowlers seen in the game. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the latest who are upholding that wonderful tradition. It is never easy for a spinner to make the adjustments required for the different formats of the game. Ashwin in particular has made these changes seemingly without any effort and continues to pick wickets in all formats of the game.
"Besides he is a batsman who prizes his wicket dearly and makes useful contributions with the bat. The number of man of the match awards and man of the series awards he has won show why he is the biggest match winner for India in recent times. He thoroughly deserves all the accolades coming his way including the latest, the coveted Garfield Sobers Trophy. Well done and hearty congratulations to Ashwin," Gavaskar said.