Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was named the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricketer of the Year on Thursday, while Test skipper Virat Kohli was chosen to lead the ODI Team of the Year.
Ashwin has become the third Indian and 12th player overall to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the best cricketer of the year.
The journey thus far hasn't been a bed of roses, but if those thorns hadn't come In my way I wouldn't be half the person that I m today.
— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) December 22, 2016
The 30-year-old followed in the footsteps of Rahul Dravid (2004) and Sachin Tendulkar (2010). Other recipients of the prestigious trophy 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).
Ashwin also became only the second Indian after Dravid (2004) to bag the two coveted awards in the same year. Kallis (2005), Ponting (2006), Sangakkara (2012), Clarke (2013), Johnson (2014) and Smith (2015) are the other players to win both Test and best cricketer awards in the same year.
The news of him bagging the awards after an immensely successful year was widely congratulated by people from all walks of life, including fellow cricketers (both current and former), as well as those associated with the sport. Here's how the cricket community on Twitter reacted to Ashwin's victory.
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) December 22, 2016
Harbhajan 'Turbanator' Singh may have fallen out of favour with the selectors in recent times after Ashwin's rise as the leading off-spinner — which even led to some tensions spilling out between the two in recent times — but he did not miss out on congratulating the No 1-ranked Test bowler.
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) December 22, 2016
Among the several people Ashwin thanked in his acceptance speech was spin legend and current head coach Anil Kumble, with whom he has worked closely in the nets to improve his technique and discuss his approach. Kumble congratulated the offie for a well-deserved award:
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) December 22, 2016
Team-mate Shikhar Dhawan, who has hit a rough patch with the bat in recent times, hailed it as well-deserved:
BIG congratulations to bro @ashwinravi99 on winning ICC Cricketer of the year. So very well deserved
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) December 22, 2016
Veteran sports presenter and journalist Harsha Bhogle described it as a "reward for a lot of hard work":
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 22, 2016
Let us take a look at a few other reactions coming in:
— Suhail Chandhok (@suhailchandhok) December 22, 2016
R Ashwin has been named the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016. Isn't it amazing that a person gets a Cricketing award for playing good Carrom!
— Sagar (@sagarcasm) December 22, 2016
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Dec 22, 2016 16:02:18 IST