Dubai: Ravichandran Ashwin, the Indian offspinner, was named the Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016 by the International Cricket Council on Thursday (December 22). He is now the third Indian cricketer to win the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy after Rahul Dravid (2004) and Sachin Tendulkar (2010).
The top honours also went to Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan skipper, who won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, Marais Erasmus, who won the ICC Umpire of the Year 2016 and Quinton de Kock who was named the ODI Cricketer of the Year. Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman was named the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2016, while Carlos Brathwaite was awarded the ICC T20I Performance of the Year for his brilliance in the World T20 final. Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad was named the ICC Associate/Affiliate Cricketer of the Year.
Ashwin picked up 48 wickets in eight Tests this year at a stunning average of 15.39 and also contributed with the bat by scoring 336 runs, averaging 42 during the voting period from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016. India blanked South Africa 3-0 at home to regain the No.1 Test spot in January and beat West Indies 2-0 away in this period.
Even though he played only three One-Day Internationals in this period, the 30-year-old made his presence felt in Twenty20 Internationals, where he picked up 27 wickets at an average of 15.62 and a remarkable economy of 6.29 as India beat Australia 3-0 away, won the Asia Cup and reached the semifinal of the World Twenty20 at home.
He currently occupies the top spot in the list of ICC Test bowlers, followed by Ravindra Jadeja, who is in second place. In the recently-concluded Test series against England at home, the offspinner returned with 28 wickets in five matches.
Ashwin was also named in the Test team of the Year along with David Warner, Alastair Cook (c), Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Adam Voges, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Rangana Herath, Mitchell Starc, Dale Steyn and Steve Smith. Both, Warner and Starc found a place in the Test and One-Day International teams of the Year.
It was the third time Cook was named the captain of the Test side, and the third successive time that Warner, Root and Williamson were named in the side. Virat Kohli was named the skipper of the ODI team of the year that comprised of Warner, Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, AB de Villiers, Jos Buttler, Mitchell Marsh, Ravindra Jadeja, Starc, Kagiso Rabada, Sunil Narine and Imran Tahir.
New Zealand Women’s captain Suzie Bates was named the ICC Women’s ODI and T20I cricketer of the Year 2016. However, it was West Indian Stafanie Taylor who was named captain of the Women’s team of the year that consisted of, Bates, Rachael Priest, Smriti Mandhana, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight, Deandra Dottin, Sune Luus, Anya Shrubsole, Leigh Kasperek and Kim Garth.
ICC Test team of the Year 2016: David Warner, Alastair Cook (c), Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Adam Voges, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, R Ashwin, Rangana Herath, Mitchell Starc, Dale Steyn and Steve Smith (12th man)
ICC ODI team of the Year 2016: David Warner, Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Jos Buttler, Mitchell Marsh, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Starc, Kagiso Rabada, Sunil Narine, Imran Tahir (12th man)