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An impressive four-player shortlist has been finalised for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2022 Award.
Babar Azam – Pakistan
679 runs in nine matches
The year that was
The ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2021 is in the running to do a repeat in 2022. Pakistan captain Babar Azam once again showed his prowess in the 50-over format, showing once again why he has ruled the roost at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings since July 2021.
In the nine matches Babar played this year, the 28-year-old registered eight scores of more than fifty, three of which he converted into hundreds. He finished the year with 679 runs at a stunning average of 84.87.
It was a memorable year for Babar as captain of the Pakistan ODI team, winning three series out of three. Pakistan were unstoppable in the ODI format, losing just one match (against Australia) out of nine.
Babar Azam put up one incredible ODI performance after another in 2022, but none more memorable than the 114 against Australia in Lahore.
Already down 1-0 in the series, Pakistan needed to win the keep the series alive. They were set a daunting target of 349 by Australia and needed their talisman to step up.
Openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq laid the foundation with a 118-run stand, after which Babar put on a masterclass in chasing a total. Walking out to bat when his team needed 231 from 187 balls, Babar almost took his side home with an exceptional display of shot-making.
He brought up his hundred off just 73 balls, his fastest ever in ODI cricket and stuck around till the 44th over. The rest of the batters finished the job as they recorded their highest-ever successful chase in ODIs.
Adam Zampa – Australia
30 wickets in 12 matches
The year that was
Adam Zampa continued to show why he has been a vital cog in the Australian white-ball setup, finishing the year as the highest wicket-taker for his country in ODI cricket.
The leggie enjoyed his joint-most prolific year in ODI cricket, matching his tally of 30 wickets from his debut year in 2016. His feat was even more impressive this year considering nine of the 12 matches he played were at home, where conditions aren’t favourable for spinners.
The 30-year-old began the year on a high with a four-wicket haul and finished with a couple more to round off a great 2022.
Defending just 196 against Trans-Tasman rivals in the second match of the three-match ODI series, Adam Zampa spun a web around New Zealand with a stunning five-for that wrapped the innings up for a meagre 82.
The rub of the green was on Zampa’s side as Kane Williamson missed a full toss to be trapped LBW. In his very next over, he trapped Daryl Mitchell in front of the stumps, leaving New Zealand reeling at 38/5.
Zampa wiped out the tail and finished with figures of 5/35, which was his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket and his best figures in the 50-over format.
Earlier in the same match, Zampa scored a crucial 16 runs, stitching a 31-run stand with Mitchell Starc for the ninth wicket which helped Australia post a fighting total.
Sikandar Raza – Zimbabwe
645 runs and eight wickets in 15 matches
2022 witnessed the resurgence of Zimbabwe on the international scene and a lot of it was down to one man – Sikandar Raza.
Raza aggregated 645 runs at an average of 49.61 and strike rate of 87.16, making two fifties to complement the three centuries. All of his runs came against top sides that have been brilliant in the white-ball game in 2022.
The 36-year-old scored three centuries, all of which came while chasing, with two resulting in victories and another almost taking Zimbabwe across the line against India.
With the ball in hand, Raza was ever-reliable, scalping eight wickets while giving away just more than five an over.
Sikandar Raza made a habit out of winning games from impossible positions for Zimbabwe. The second ODI against Bangladesh in Harare in August was one such instance.
In the first match too, Raza pulled the rabbit out of the hat with 135 off 109 while chasing 304. He followed it up with an incredible all-round showing against the Tigers.
Zimbabwe were in a spot of bother at 49/4 chasing 292 when he once again pulled the rescue act. He had Regis Chakabva for company and together the pair took their side to victory.
Mixing caution with aggression, Raza (117* off 127 balls) stayed till the end and took Zimbabwe home as they recorded a rare series victory for the hosts. He also starred with the ball while bowling the difficult overs in the death and finished with figures of 3/56 in his 10 overs.
Shai Hope – West Indies
709 runs in 21 matches
Shai Hope made his ODI debut in 2016 and since 2017, he has finished every year as West Indies’ highest run-scorer in ODIs. 2022 was no different as Shai Hope was once again one of the few shining stars for the West Indies in a difficult year.
Hope did not get off the greatest of starts in 2022 but in typical fashion started to grind out runs in the latter half. He finished the year with 709 runs, which include three hundreds and two fifties, at an average of 35.45.
Shai Hope was often the lone warrior for West Indies in ODIs this year and as a result, four of his five fifty-plus scores this year came in losses. The one that didn’t – his 119* off 130 against the Netherlands – fetched him the Player of the Match in the first game of the three-match series in May-June 2022.
Chasing 241 in Amstelveen in a rain-reduced 45-overs-a-side game, Hope displayed the immaculate temperament he is known for and batted through till the end.
He was part of two 100-run partnerships, first with Shamarh Brooks for the first wicket and then with Brandon King for the unbeaten fourth wicket. Between the two partnerships was a mini-collapse but Hope weathered the storm to guide West Indies to victory.
Visit Crictos.com to collect iconic moments from ICC Cricket history!
It was a day of firsts in Karachi during the opening day of the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand as Kiwi wicketkeeper Tom Blundell produced a feat never seen before in 145 years of Men’s Test cricket.