India’s premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin earned another feather in his cap, as he was presented with the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy by former India captain Kapil Dev after India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Dharamshala.
Ashwin, who finished the Test rankings in 2015 and 2016 as the no.1 bowler received the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for being named the ICC Test player of the year and also ICC Player of the year for the year 2016. He got the trophies from ICC Hall of famers Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, after the match presentation in Dharamshala.
Ashwin picked up 48 wickets in 8 Tests during the voting period from 14th September 2015 to 20th September 2016. He also scored 336 runs during this period as well.
Ashwin spoke after receiving the awards, he 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. What has been greatly satisfying for me is that I have helped the team do well during this period. We have a great unit that has done well across formats. Being on top of the Test table, in particular, is an accomplishment we are all proud of.
“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."
Ashwin also thanked his family, including his late uncle who happened to pass away during the Dharamshala Test match. Kapil Dev was all praise for Ashwin, he said,” 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. Ashwin is a big asset for the team as he is useful with the bat and is a thinking all-rounder.”
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar also said, "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. 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."
ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson was also present during the ceremony, which also saw Team India get the Test mace and one million USD as reward for ending the season as the number one ranked Test side. He said, “Ashwin has shown time and again that he is a match-winner in the true sense. I congratulate him for joining a select band of cricketers to have won these two top ICC awards.”
Former India Captain Rahul Dravid was the first player to receive Sir Garfield Sobers trophy in 2004.