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R Ashwin wins ICC Cricketer of the Year award

The all-rounder is also adjudged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year

R Ashwin has become the third India player and 12th player overall to win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being named as the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016.

Ashwin follows in the footsteps of Rahul Dravid (2004) and Sachin Tendulkar (2010), while other recipients of the Sir Garfield Sobers 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 was also adjudged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, which has made him only the second India player after Dravid (2004) to bag the two coveted prizes in the same year. Kallis (2005), Ponting (2006), Sangakkara (2012), Clarke (2013), Johnson (2014) and Smith (2015) are the other players to annex both the awards in the same year.

During the voting period, which ran from 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016, the 30-year-old from Chennai played eight Tests in which he took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs. 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.

Reacting to the news, a delighted Ashwin said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be awarded with this great honour. It feels great to follow the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in being named as the ICC Cricketer of the Year. To also win the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year makes it even better.

“There are a lot of people to thank for this wonderful achievement I have made. It has been a great couple of years but this year has been even more special. What is very noticeable is the way I have bowled and batted and the way I have gone about doing my business. What is more important, as far as I am concerned, is the number of people who have gone behind my success.

“I’d like to dedicate this award to my family. I’d like to thank ICC and most importantly my team-mates. I’d also like to thank the support staff for our success. We’ve had a great transition ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni hung up his boots. A young captain has taken over, we fell on the right track, and we now have a new bunch of boys.”

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson congratulated Ashwin, saying: “It has been a memorable period for Ashwin, whose consistent all-round and match winning performances have been reflected in the MRF player rankings. He is justifiably now being counted among the best spinners of his generation.

“To win both the ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Cricketer of the Year awards is a major accomplishment. Ashwin’s performances speak for themselves and he is a deserving recipient of the honours. I congratulate him on behalf of the ICC.”

ICC Cricketer of the Year (Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy) – Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

ICC Test Cricketer of the Year – Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

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Himanshu Rana’s century powers India U-19 into Asia Cup final

India register 77-run win over Afghanistan to continue their unbeaten streak

With a 77-run win over Afghanistan Under-19s in the semi-final, India Under-19s cantered into the final of Asian Cricket Council’s U-19 Asia Cup, 2016 in Sri Lanka. After India elected to bat, Himanshu Rana propelled the team to 294 with a sparkling 123-ball 130 even as wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. The Indian attack, comprising seven bowlers then restricted Afghanistan to 217 for seven to claim victory.

After Prithvi Shaw was sent back by Wafadar Momand to end the opening stand for 40, Rana laid the foundation for a solid total with Shubman Gill (45 off 51 balls). The pair added 95 runs to the total until Shamsurrahman accounted for the No 3 bat. The opener however continued to milk the bowlers and had forged an 83-run partnership with Abhishek Sharma until the skipper was sent back by Naveen-ul-Haq. With Mujeeb, the pacer ran through the rest of the lineup to bowl India out with five balls to spare.

Naveen-ul-Haq finished with a five-for, which also included the wicket of Rana. After the opener departed with the team on 271 for six in the 45th over, the pacer followed up with the wicket of Kamlesh Nagakoti. In his next over, he accounted for Het Patel and Shiva Singh. Off the first ball of the last over, Rahul Chahar was run out which brought the Indian innings to an end.

Defending the total, India left Afghanistan reeling on 11 for two. They then plugged the flow of runs, and Yash Thakur claimed Traiq and Ikram Faizi to leave the opposition reeling at 46 for four. A while later, Chahar ended Ibrahim Zadran’s (33 off 77) resistance to reduce Afghanistan to 83 for five.

However, Nisar Wahadat and Shamsurrahman stitched a 94-run partnership for the sixth wicket to keep the innings afloat. Although, the balance was tipped in India’s favour, the duo put up a fight to extend the innings. The stand eventually was broken by Chahar, who claimed Wahadat for 75 to reduce the side to 177 for six in the 46th over. With the side on 190, Shamsurrahman was sent back by Nagarkoti for 49 (off 70). Facing an improbable task, Naveen-ul-Haq and Mujeeb then saw the team to 217 for seven as they played out the team’s quota of overs. Nagarkoti, Thakur and Chahar claimed two wickets each as they bowled the India to victory. 


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