Ashwin honoured by ICC for stellar year
Fresh from helping India to a dominant 4-0 series win over England, Ravichandran Ashwin has been named the ICC Cricketer of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year for 2016.
South Africa's Quinton de Kock claimed the ODI Cricketer of the Year award, while Carlos Brathwaite's exploits in West Indies' World Twenty20 triumph saw him take T20I Performance of the Year.
Mustafizur Rahman, 21, of Bangladesh was recognised as the Emerging Cricketer of the Year and veteran Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq earned the Spirit of Cricket award.
During the voting period, which ran from 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016, Ashwin played eight Tests, taking 48 wickets and scoring 336 runs.
"It's a great feeling," the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy winner told the BCCI website.
"I never went after this particular achievement or award. It's not something on the top of your head. But I'm extremely humbled. Because [former Indian winners] Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, they're no ordinary people.
"They're stalwarts of the game. They were two people instrumental in me pursuing my career in cricket. I could so easily have gone on to become an engineer but they motivated me to take up the sport."
Asked what the catalyst was for his dominant calendar year, Ashwin added: "That one particular moment in Adelaide when I was left out of the Test match in 2015. I thought I was going to start that series.
"It was a big blow to my pride as a cricketer. I ... worked on a lot of things and ever since things have flowed like music. It was that particular moment where I wanted to scale some sort of excellence."
72 - R Ashwin took 72 Test wickets in 2016; only 3 spinners have ever taken more in a calendar year (Warne, Muralitharan & Kumble). Haul. pic.twitter.com/o5J4YODH9h-- OptaJim (@OptaJim) December 22, 2016
The Test career of Adam Voges now appears to be over following sweeping changes to Australia's team in the wake of a 2-1 series loss at home to South Africa.
But, should that be the case, the 37-year-old did at least do enough to earn a place in the ICC Test Team of the Year ahead of captain Steve Smith, who was named 12th man.
Alastair Cook was named captain of the Test team for the third time despite now facing calls to quit as England skipper following his team's poor tour of the subcontinent.
South Africa paceman Dale Steyn made the line-up for the eighth time in nine years, while England's Joe Root, David Warner of Australia and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson were included for the third year in succession.
India's Virat Kohli was chosen to captain the ODI Team of the Year, with Australia's Mitchell Starc and Warner the only players picked in both the Test and ODI sides.
ICC Test Team of the Year 2016 (in batting order):
1. David Warner (Australia)
2. Alastair Cook (England) (captain)
3. Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
4. Joe Root (England)
5. Adam Voges (Australia)
6. Jonny Bairstow (England) (wicketkeeper)
7. Ben Stokes (England)
8. R. Ashwin (India)
9. Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)
10. Mitchell Starc (Australia)
11. Dale Steyn (South Africa)
12. Steve Smith (Australia)
ICC ODI Team of the Year 2016 (in batting order):
1. David Warner (Australia)
2. Quinton de Kock (South Africa) (wicketkeeper)
3. Rohit Sharma (India)
4. Virat Kohli (India) (captain)
5. AB de Villiers (South Africa)
6. Jos Buttler (England)
7. Mitchell Marsh (Australia)
8. Ravindra Jadeja (India)
9. Mitchell Starc (Australia)
10. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
11. Sunil Narine (West Indies)
12. Imran Tahir (South Africa