Sports Desk: The ICC has selected four players for the Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year 2022 award, which also includes the name of Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav. Apart from them, England left-arm fast bowler Sam Curran, Zimbabwe’s off-spin all-rounder Sikandar Raza and Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan have also been nominated for the honour.
Suryakumar has had a stellar year in the shortest format of the game. He became only the second batsman to score more than 1000 runs in a year in the format with his 360-degree strokeplay. He ended the year as the highest run-scorer with 1164 runs at an average of 46.56 and a strike rate of 187.43. In 2022, he also had the maximum number of 68 sixes. Also had 2 centuries, 9 half-centuries.
Suryakumar scored 239 runs in the T20 World Cup in Australia at an impressive average of 59.75 and an impressive strike rate of 189.68, including consecutive fifties against South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands. In the second T20I against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui, he hit 11 fours and seven sixes at a strike rate of 217.65, resulting in an unbeaten 111 off 51 balls, his second T20I century. But the century against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham was his maiden T20I century, with 117 off 55 balls.
Zimbabwe’s Raza has had a stellar year with the bat and has also contributed significantly with the ball in T20Is. He shone brightly in the T20 World Cup in Australia. He scored 735 runs in the year at a strike rate of over 150 and took 25 wickets at an economy rate of 6.13. His standout performance came in Zimbabwe’s surprise victory over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, taking 3 for 25 with the ball before being run out on the last ball to give Zimbabwe a one-run victory.
At the same time, Curren was the player of the tournament in the 2022 T20 World Cup. He earned praise, especially with death bowling. Despite the absence of England’s leading fast bowlers, he performed brilliantly for the team, taking 13 wickets. He took 5 wickets for 10 runs against Afghanistan in the tournament. This was his best figure, as well as the best performance by an England bowler in T20Is. The left-arm fast bowler was instrumental in England winning their second T20 World Cup title by taking three wickets in the final. In the final against Pakistan in Melbourne, Curran conceded just 12 runs in his four overs and took three wickets. He was also the player of the final, his victims being Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood and Mohammad Nawaz.
Rizwan scored 996 runs in T20Is in 2021. He scored 10 half-centuries in 2022 in T20Is and scored 175 runs in the T20 World Cup, which is the joint-most by a Pakistan batsman. Averaging 45.27 in T20Is in 2022, Rizwan cemented his reputation at the top of Pakistan’s batting line-up. In 2022 as well, Rizwan briefly claimed the top spot in the Men’s T20I Player Rankings for Batsmen. He ended the year at No. 2 with 836 rating points behind Suryakumar of India. Rizwan’s best performance came in the home series against England, when he scored an unbeaten 88 off just 51 balls.