Karachi, June 27 : Sourav Ganguly capped a memorable comeback by becoming the first recipient of the Castrol Asian Cricketer of the Year Award at a function held in Karachi today.
Ganguly has had a series of successful innings since his return to the Indian cricket team during the South African tour of 2006-07.
The Prince of Kolkata put together some outstanding batting performances during 2007 - his best innings being the 239 against Pakistan at Bangalore in December 2007. For his outstanding batting performance during the year, Sourav also received the overall Castrol Asian Batsman of the Year Award.
The overall Castrol Asian Bowler of the Year Award was won by Muthiah Muralitharan who also entered the record book in 2007, becoming the highest wicket taker in Test matches. The Castrol Asian Wicket Keeper / Fielder of the Year awards was won by Kamran Akmal.
The Castrol Asian Awards are based on the Castrol Performance Index - a comprehensive points system which takes into consideration batting, bowling and fielding performances of each player against all teams in all international matches, in all three formats - Test, ODIs and T20, during a calendar year.
The inaugural Castrol Asian Cricket Awards ceremony was hosted by former Pakistani cricketer Rameez Raja and was attended by cricketers from several Asian countries participating in the ongoing Asia Cup. The awards were given away by legendary Asian cricketers like Wasim Akram, Sanath Jayasurya, Wasim Bari, Asif Iqbal and Zahir Abbas.
Besides the overall category, the Castrol Awards were also given away for the Castrol Asian Batsmen and Bowler in Test Cricket - Kumar Sangakkara and Muthiah Muralitharan; Castrol Asian Batsman and Bowler in ODIs - Sachin Tendulkar and P Maharoof and Castrol Asian Batsman and Bowler in T20 - Gautam Gambhir and Umar Gul. A special award was also given away to Yuvraj Singh for his World Record of six sixes in an over in T20.
Besides the awards mentioned above, the Castrol Pakistan Awards for Cricketing Excellence for performances by Pakistan cricketers, were also given away. Shoaib Malik was declared the Castrol Pakistan Cricketer of the Year whilst the legendary Hanif Mohammed was felicitated with the Castrol Pakistan Lifetime Achievement Award. Ahmad Shezad was declared the Castrol Pakistan Junior Cricketer of the Year.