Karachi:Former captain Sourav Ganguly was adjudged the Asian Cricketer and Asian Batsman of the year for his fighting comeback into the Indian team at the Castrol Asian Cricket Awards on Friday.
Sachin Tendulkar was named the Best ODI batsman while Gautam Gambhir grabbed the honour in Twenty20. Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara took away the best Test Batsman of the year award while compatriot Farveez Maharoof was chosen as the Best ODI Bowler. Pakistan's Umar Gul was named the Best Twenty20 Bowler.
Yuvraj Singh was given an special award for hitting six sixes in the Twenty20 World Cup against England.
Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, not surprisingly, took away the Best Bowler award.
The surprise element was Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, who has been dropped from the Asia Cup squad because of his poor form, as he was conferred with the Best Fielder award.
But former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram, who along with Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya and former India skipper Rahul Dravid picked the winners, said that Akmal was selected for his overall performances throughout the last two years.
Though Ganguly was not present at the ceremony, his wife Dona took the awards on his behalf.
"I am proud and happy to be his wife. I don't think he needed to work so hard to prove himself. But he had a point to prove and when he wants to achieve something he does it. So these awards make me really proud of him as my husband," Dona told reporters after receiving the awards.
She, however, refused to term the awards as redemption for her husband after his removal as captain and being dropped from the team in 2006.
"I don't see it that way. I just knew that he would achieve what he wanted. He is an introvert sort of person but my job was to be there to encourage and support him. As a family we were there for him always," she said.
The Bengal left-hander also expressed his happiness on receiving the awards in a video taped message.
Akram said that Asian cricket had produced some great performers from Hanif Mohammad to Tendulkar and it was good to see them being recognised for their achievements in a systematic manner.
Pakistan greats like Hanif Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal and Wasim Bari graced the ceremony that was hosted by Akram and Rameez Raja with all the teams, including associate member Hong Kong, in attendance.
Hanif got a lifetime achievement award and said it was time for other companies and people to also come forward and recognise and reward the players.
Asian Batsman of the year - Sourav Ganguly
Best overall bowler of the year - Muttiah Muralitharan
Best Test batsman - Kumar Sangakkara
Best Test Bowler - Muttiah Muralitharan
Best ODI bowler of the year - Farveez Maharoof
Best overall fielder and wicketkeeper - Kamran Akmal
Best ODI batsman - Sachin Tendulkar
Best ODI bowler - Farveez Maharoof
Best Asian cricketer of the year- Sourav Ganguly
Twenty20 batsman of the year - Gautam Gambhir
Twenty20 world record holder of the year - Yuvraj Singh
Twenty20 bowler of the year - Umar Gul