Zimbabwe: Exciting Week Beckons for Raza

24 January 2023

THE next two days will mean a lot to the career of Zimbabwe national cricket team all-rounder Sikandar Raza who is vying for three top honours in the prestigious International Cricket Council annual awards.

Raza will battle it out for the ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year 2022 in a four-men shortlist that includes India's Suryakumar Yadav, Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan and England's T20 World Cup sensation Sam Curran.

The 36-year-old is also in the running for the ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year 2022 Award where he faces stiff competition from Pakistan national team captain Babar Azam, Shai Hope of the West Indies and Australian spin bowler Adam Zampa.

To cap it all, he was also nominated for the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy which celebrates the overall best performing men's cricketer.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, New Zealand paceman Tim Southee and England's Ben Stokes, who seeks to claim the prize for the second time after his maiden win in 2019, are also vying for this honour. The winner of this category will be announced on Thursday.

Raza, who became the first Zimbabwean cricketer to be nominated for the ICC annual individual awards, started off the week brightly after he was named in the ICC 2022 T20 Team of the Year yesterday. The ICC Team of the Year recognises outstanding individuals who have impressed one and all -- be it with the bat, the ball or their all-round exploits in a calendar year.

The 11-men list also has T20 World Cup winners Sam Curran and Jos Buttler. Ireland's Josh Little also made it along with India's Virat Kohli and Pakistan's Mohamad Rizwan.

The ICC also announced the Women's T20I Team of the year. The world cricket governing body will today announce the outstanding players for the ODIs, both men and women, and the ICC Test Team of the Year. Raza is also tipped to make the ODI team of the Year.

"Sikandar Raza had a stellar year with the bat and also contributed significantly with the ball in T20Is," said the ICC in a statement.

"He was at the centre of all things good that happened for Zimbabwe Cricket during the year, with the all-rounder putting in one brilliant performance after another in the shortest format.

"Not only was he the leading scorer for Zimbabwe with 735 runs but he also led the wickets chart for them, scalping 25 wickets at an excellent economy rate of 6.13.

"He was the Player of the Tournament at T20 World Cup Qualifier B in July and carried his form into the marquee event, winning the Player of the Match thrice, including Zimbabwe's epic win over Pakistan in Perth."

The 36-year-old played his best cricket in 2022.

His consistent performances earned him a place in the Most Valuable Team of the Tournament at the recent ICC T20 Men's World Cup 2022 in Australia.

Raza was the first Zimbabwean to win the ICC Player of the Month award in August before he got nominated for the second time in three months for the October gong.

He was also named in the 2022 Wisden's Men's T20I Team of the Year and the ESPNcricinfo's Men's ODI Team of the Year for 2022.

ICC Men's T20I team of the year:

Jos Buttler (England), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan), Virat Kohli (India), Suryakumar Yadav (India), Glenn Phillips (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Hardik Pandya (India), Sam Curran (England), Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka), Haris Rauf (Pakistan), Josh Little (Ireland)

ICC Women's T20I team of the year:

Smriti Mandhana (India), Beth Mooney (Australia), Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Ash Gardner (Australia), Tahila McGrath (Australia), Nida Dar (Pakistan), Deepti Sharma (India), Richa Gosh (India), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Inoka Ranaweera (Sri Lanka), Renuka Singh (India)

ICC's Awards schedule:

Today

ICC Men's ODI Team of the Year

ICC Women's ODI Team of the Year

ICC Men's Test Team of the Year

Tomorrow

ICC Men's Associate Cricketer of the Year

ICC Women's Associate Cricketer of the Year

ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year

ICC Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year

ICC Emerging Men's Cricketer of the Year

ICC Emerging Women's Cricketer of the Year

Thursday

ICC Umpire of the Year

ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year

ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year

ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Year

Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year

Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year

ICC Spirit of Cricket Award

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