India’s spin spearhead Ravichandran Ashwin, on Wednesday (May 24), added one more feather to his already illustrious cap by winning the prestigious International Cricketer of the Year award at the CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) International awards 2017.
The 30-year old Tamil Nadu ace received the award from legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar and Harsh Goenka, Chairman of RPSG Enterprises, at a function held at the Cricket Club of India.
The award, meanwhile, caps off a fine season for Ashwin where he played an integral role in India’s domination at home. Ashwin took a staggering 82 wickets in the home- season, as India won 10 out of the 13 matches to consolidate their position at the top of ICC Test rankings. In the process, he also broke South Africa pacer Dale Steyn’s record of most number of wickets in a season.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashwin recalled that his first autograph which he had taken was from Gavaskar at the Chepauk stadium in Chennai. He also heaped praise on 17-year old spinner Washington Sundar who did remarkably well for Rising Pune Supergiant in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League.
The young spinner was roped in by the Pune-based franchise as a last moment replacement for the injured Ashwin.
“Washington did really well in the Vijay Hazare trophy. I had heard from a couple of people that he is doing well. He has got a good idea of how to bowl in T20s and to ball with the new ball is a massive challenge.
“The first scar which you will inflict will always have value and he initially bowled well. The pace and the length which he hit was very very critical,” said Ashwin.
It should be recalled that Ashwin had also won the coveted ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016 awards and had become only the second Indian after Rahul Dravid to win both the awards same year.
He had also become only the third Indian cricketer after Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar to win Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year.
Earlier this year, he was presented with the Dilip Sardesai award at the BCCI’s Annual Awards for his performance in India’s 2-0 Test series win in West Indies last year. Ashwin had bagged the Man of the Series award in the Caribbeans after picking up 17 wickets in addition to scoring two hundreds.
Ashwin will now set his sight on the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy which will start from June 1 in England. The ace spinner missed the whole Indian Premier League season owing to a sports hernia and will now be desperate to return to action, as India will be looking to defend their title.