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Ashwin named ICC Cricketer of the Year

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New Delhi, Dec 22:  India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday was named the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricketer of the Year, while Test skipper Virat Kohli was chosen to lead the ODI Team of the Year.

Ashwin was the only Indian in ICC’s Test Team of the Year and was also named the Test Cricketer of the Year. Batsman Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja were named in the ODI team.

Ashwin has become the third India player and 12th player overall to win the Garfield Sobers Trophy for being the best cricketer of the year.

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 India player 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 annex both the awards in the same year.

The voting period for the awards was from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016.

The Chennai-born played eight Tests in the period, taking 48 wickets and scoring 336 runs. He also claimed 27 wickets in 19 T20s.

He had finished 2015 as the number-one ranked Test bowler, a position he twice reclaimed in 2016.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur congratulated Ashwin on his achievement.

“Many congratulations @ashwinravi99 for getting @ICC Cricketer of the year award. May this award inspires you to greater glory,” he tweeted.

Pakistan captain Misbah-Ul-Haq won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, becoming the first player of his country to win the award.

South Africa’s Quinton de Kock was selected the ODI Cricketer of the Year.

Afghanistan’s Mohammad Shahzad was named the ICC Associate/Affiliate Cricketer of the Year while the West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite won the T20 International Performance of the Year.

Bangladesh pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman was given the Emerging Cricketer of the Year.

Legends Rahul Dravid, Gary Kirsten and Kumar Sangakkara selected the ICC Test and ODI sides based on players’ performances in the period from September 14 2015 to September 20 2016.

England’s Alastair Cook was named the captain of the Test Team of the Year, which included four Englishmen, three Australians, and a player each from New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

it was the third time Cook has been appointed captain, while it the eighth time in nine years that Dale Steyn was selected. Joe Root, David Warner and Kane Williamson have been chosen for the third successive year.

The ODI Team of the Year, included three Australians, Indians, South Africans each, and one each from England and the West Indies. AB De Villiers has been selected for the sixth time since 2010, while Starc has been picked up for the third time in four years.

Starc and his team-mate Warner are the only two players to have been selected in both the Test and ODI sides in 2016.

IANS

#ICC #InternationalCricketCouncil #RavichandraAshwin  #ViratKohli

 

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Sushil Kumar, Sakshi Malik wins gold at Commonwealth Wrestling Championships

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Johannesburg, Dec 17: Indian star Sushil Kumar made his return to international wrestling a memorable one, outclassing Akash Khullar of New Zealand in the final of the men’s 74 kilogram freestyle category to clinch gold at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship here on Sunday.

Sushil gave his opponent virtually no chance in the title clash, carving out an easy 6-0 victory. The double Olympic medallist, who is staging a comeback after around three years, thus clinched his fifth title at the Commonwealth level.

“It’s a very proud and emotional moment for me as I have returned to the mat on international level after a gap of 3 years. I want to dedicate this Gold medal won in #Commonwealthwrestlingchampionship at #SouthAfrica to my guru and to my Nation. JaiHind,” Sushil later wrote on his official Twitter handle along with a photo of the national flag.

Emerging Indian star Parveen Rana got the bronze in the 74kg category, beating Johannes Petrus Botha of South Africa in the play-off for the third place.

Sakshi Malik, the only Indian female grappler to clinch an Olympic medal, also bagged a gold medal. The Rio Olympics silver medallist defeated New Zealand’s Tayla Tuahine Ford 13-2 in the final of the women’s 62kg category.

The Indians dominated most of the weight categories in the men’s freestyle with Bajrang (65kg), Jitender (79kg) and Sumit (125kg) also winning gold in their respective events.

Hitender (125kg), Somveer (92kg) and Jitender (79kg) had to be content with bronze medals.

The Indian women also imposed total domination in the competition, winning gold in each of the 10 weight categories.

Apart from Malik, Kiran (72kg), Divya Kakran (68kg) and Ritu Malik (65kg) emerged champions in their respective categories on Sunday while Pooja (76kg) and Ravita (59kg) finished with silver medals. Kavita (76kg) and Manu Tomar (72kg) took bronze.

Sushil started his campaign with an easy 8-0 win over Botha.

In the second round, Sushil overpowered Jasmit Singh Phulka of Canada 9-1 before defeating Rana 5-4 in a thrilling contest.

Sushil’s longtime coach Satpal Singh was ecstatic at India’s performance.

“It was a superb performance by all the Indian wrestlers. Sushil has made a strong comeback after a long time. He worked very hard for the last 8-10 months,” Satpal told IANS.

“The toughest competition was in the 74 kilogram category. The wrestlers from New Zealand, South Africa and Canada were really good,” he added.

Satpal asserted that the Indians are now geared up for a busy competition schedule in 2018, which will see them compete at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

“The best thing is that Indian wrestlers were involved in a strong competition after a long time. Wrestlers from Nigeria, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are really strong, both technically and physically, specially in the middle weight categories like the 74kg and 86kg,” he said.

IANS

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IND Vs SL, 3rd ODI: India beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets, win series 2-1

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Visakhapatnam, Dec 17: India eased to an eight-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the decisive third and final One-Day International (ODI) at Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

After restricting Sri Lanka to 215 runs, Shikhar Dhawan’s 100 not out helped India canter to the big win with 17.5 overs to spare.

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Superseries Finals: Sindhu loses to Yamaguchi in final

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Dubai, Dec 17: Indian star shuttler P.V. Sindhu lost to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the women’s singles final of the BWF World Superseries Finals here on Sunday.

Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu lost 21-15, 12-21, 19-21 to world No.2 Yamaguchi at the Hamdan Sports Complex.

IANS

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