R Ashwin was on March 28 awarded the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy in Dharamsala for being named the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016. With 48 wickets and 336 runs against his name in eight Tests, and 27 wickets in 19 Twenty20 Internationals during the voting period, Ashwin was a popular choice for the title.
Ashwin is the third Indian, and the 12th player overall to win the award. He was presented the honour by Kapil Dev.
While Rahul Dravid had won the title in 2004, Sachin Tendulkar was presented with the same in 2010. Other recipients of the award 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).
The award was judged by a voting academy, which was entirely independent of the ICC and in which members of the media from all the 10 Test-playing countries were eligible to vote.
They took into consideration performances between September 14, 2015, and September 20, 2016. During this period, Ashwin produced some marvellous all-round performances across all three formats of the game, and particularly in Tests.