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Ashwin named ICC Cricketer of the Year




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.


#ICC #InternationalCricketCouncil #RavichandraAshwin  #ViratKohli



Australian Captain Steve Smith won’t quit after Australia admit ball-tampering




Australia captain Steve Smith says he is embarrassed and takes responsibility for the actions of his side after they were charged with attempting to change the condition of the ball in the third test against South Africa on Saturday, but he will not be stepping down as skipper.

Smith detailed an orchestrated effort from the team’s “leadership group” to use sticky tape to pick up hard granules from the pitch and rub these against the ball to try to alter its condition and get it to swing.

Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, 25, the most junior member in the side, was the player tasked with implementing the plan and he has been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which could lead to a one-match ban and a 100 percent fine of his match fee.

“I’m embarrassed, the boys in the shed are embarrassed and I feel for Cam as well,” Smith told reporters.

“It is not what we want to see in the game, it’s not what the Australian cricket team is about. Being the leader of the team I am incredibly sorry for trying to bring the game into disrepute like we did today.”

A remorseful Bancroft admitted he was nervous at taking on his role in the scam and panicked when he realised that cameras in the stadium had caught him in the act, placing the tape in his underwear to keep it out of the gaze of the umpires.

“I guess once I was sighted on the (TV) screens, that resulted in me shoving it down my trousers,” Bancroft said. “I am not proud of what has happened. I have to live with the consequences and the damage to my reputation that comes with it. I will do my best to move forward and play cricket.”

Smith said it was the first and last time the team had hatched such a plan and while he would not name the other conspirators, he said head coach Darren Lehmann was not involved.

“The leadership group knew about it, we spoke about it at lunch,” Smith said. “I’m not proud of what has happened. It’s not in the spirit of the game, my integrity and the integrity of the team has been damaged and rightfully so. It’s not on and it won’t happen again, I can promise you.

“The coaches weren’t involved, it was purely the players and the leadership group who came up with this. A poor choice, our actions are deeply regrettable.”

Smith said he wanted to keep captaining the side.

“I won’t be considering stepping down, I still think I am the right person for the job. Today was a big mistake. This is something I am not proud of, something I can learn from and like I said, I am embarrassed to be sitting here talking about this,” he said.

“We are in the middle of such a great series and for something like this to overshadow the great cricket that has been played, that’s not what I am about or what the team is about.”

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Shooter Manu wins gold at Junior World Cup



Manu Bhaker
Manu Bhaker Photo Credit: ISSF @ISSF

Sydney, March 24: Teenager Manu Bhaker nailed her second World Cup gold medal inside a month, winning the womens 10m Air Pistol title at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World here on Saturday.

She did a double on the day, winning the team gold in the event as well with compatriots Devanshi Rana, who missed out on an individual medal placing fourth in the final, and Mahima Turhi Agrawal to end an amazing month for herself and extend a golden six month or so period of excellent performances.

Just 20 days ago, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, created waves across the shooting world by winning the senior World Cup gold at the same 10m Air Pistol event in her senior team debut.

This comes after the Asian Championships silver last year in Japan to secure a Youth Olympics quota for her country and nine golds at the Shooting Nationals, all in the span of six months.

On Saturday, Manu finished the qualifying round at the second spot with a score of 570 behind Kanyakom Hirunphoem of Thailand.

Kanyakom was in great form throughout the day and was six points clear at the top with 576.

Also Kanyakom, even though still a junior, was a far more experienced than Manu, having represented her country at the Asian Games in Incheon, way back in 2014.

She shot off the blocks very strong in the final as well and appeared to be peaking just at the right time, when she edged ahead of Manu at the end of the 20th shot of the 24-shot final.

The duo were well clear of the chasing pack of six from the very onset of the final. At the end of the 22nd shot, Kanyakom was a point clear of Manu and had a lead of 0.9 on the last shot.

Manu shot a 9.8 while Kanyakom faltered with a 7.9 to seal the deal for the Indian. Manu finished with 235.9 to Kanyakom’s 234.9 while Kaiman Liu of China got the bronze with 214.2.

After briefly being in contention for the bronze, India’s Devanshi Rana finished fourth with a finals score of 195.3.

The Indian trio of Manu, Devanshi and Mahima logged a combined 1693 to win the team gold ahead of China (silver with 1681) and Thailand (bronze with 1673).

India also picked up another gold, two silvers and two bronze medals on the day to log a total of five gold, two silvers and five bronze, just behind China who have six golds.

India won the team gold in the junior men’s 10m Air Pistol when the trio of Gaurav Rana, Anmol Jain and Arjun Singh Cheema produced a combined effort of 1718.

Gaurav and Anmol also bagged silver and bronze in the individual event. Gaurav shot 233.9 in the individual final to finish well behind China’s Zhehao Wang who shot 242.5 for gold. Anmol shot 215.1 to settle for silver.

A second Indian team comprising Anhad Jawanda, Abhishek Arya and Adarsh Singh also got Bronze in the event with a combined effort of 1675.

India’s second silver medal of the tournament came in the Mixed Team Trap event where Manisha Keer partnered Ali Aman Elahi to finsih second with a score of 34 out of 50 hits in the final.

The gold went to the Italian pair of Petroni and Sessa who hit 38 birds in the final. China got the bronze.

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Aadil Anand wins 2 gold at Tunisian Junior & Cadet TT meet



Adil Anand

Rades (Tunisia), March 24: Paddler Aadil Anand delivered two gold medals as India bagged six medals in the Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open which concluded here.

Aadil,12, upstaged Algeria’s Abdelwahab Bellahsene 3-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6) to claim the honours in the Mini-Cadet Singles on Friday and then teamed up with Payas Jain for the Cadet Boys doubles gold, according to a release.

The Indian duo cruised past the local pair of Aziz Jerbi and Amine Mohamed Oueslati in straight games 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 for their triumph.

Overall, the young lads bagged a rich haul of two gold, two silver and two bronze medals for the country in the ITTF Junior World Junior Circuit tournament.

Aadil was over the moon on his maiden success for the country and thanked the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and former national champion and acclaimed coach Kamlesh Mehta for his guidance.

“I am so happy that after three years of hard work, I am being rewarded for my efforts. I will cherish this for a long time, particularly as it’s my first title for India. I believe this will spur me on for subsequent tournaments,” he said.

Payas had to settle for the silver in the Cadet Boys Singles losing the title clash to China’s Liu Menglong 3-1 (6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Manush Shah put up a gallant display in the Junior Boys Singles final but had to be content with a silver medal as he failed to get past Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, losing 2-4 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 9-11).

Manush also secured a bronze as he and Manav Thakkar were the losing semi-finalists in the Junior Boys doubles. They went down to the Chinese pair of Wang Yihao and Zhang Shangzheng 1-3.

Mainak Nistala, who lost to Aadil in the semi-finals of the Mini-Cadet boys’ singles, picked up the other bronze medal.


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