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India's Suryakumar Yadav has had a stunning year in 2022, which enabled him to clinch the T20 ICC Player of the Year award. Image Credit: ANI

Dubai: India’s right-handed batter Suryakumar Yadav was named winner of the ICC Mens T20I cricketer of the year 2022 award. He also becomes the first Indian to win the honour. Australia’s Tahlia McGrath has been named the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year.

Suryakumar beat competition from England’s left-arm pace all-rounder Sam Curran, Zimbabwe’s off-spin all-rounder Sikandar Raza and 2021 award winner, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, to get the coveted honour.

“Thank you so much, ICC for naming me ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year. It’s a great feeling as 2022 was amazing for me. From a personal point of view, I enjoyed the few knocks I played in that year.”

Special moment

“If I had to pick one knock which was very special to me, was the first hundred for my country (against England in the third T20I at Nottingham) because the first hundred is always special. Hopefully, many more knocks to come,” he said on receiving the award.

“This achievement is only made possible thanks to the teammates, coaches, support staff and cricket fans who helped me on my journey. We have a big year ahead in 2023, and I will strive to continue this success for my country in every performance.”

Yadav had a sensational 2022 in the shortest format of the game, becoming just the second batter to score more than 1,000 runs in a year in the format with his 360-degree strokeplay. He ended the year as the highest run-getter, scoring 1164 runs at a ridiculous strike rate of 187.43, averaging 46.56.

Standout batter

His tally of 68 sixes in 2022 is the highest anyone has hit in the format in a year by a fair distance. With two hundreds and nine half-centuries in the year, Yadav was undoubtedly the standout men’s T20I batter, achieving a career-high 890 rating points to be the top-ranked T20I batter in 2022.

Yadav had lit up the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, slamming 239 runs at an outstanding average of 59.75 and a whopping strike rate of 189.68, including match-tempo changing 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 all over the park at a strike rate of 217.65 to be unbeaten on 111 off 51 balls, his second T20I century.

But it was his first T20I century against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, 117 off 55 balls, which caught the eye of cricket fans. From 31/3 in a run chase of 216, Yadav lifted India with his outrageous stroke-making, giving the visitors a chance at chasing down the target. Yadav put the team within touching distance of what would have been an incredible win.

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Australia’s Tahlia McGrath won the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year. Image Credit: Courtesy: ICC Twitter

Reaching the summit

McGrath reached the summit of the T20I batter rankings back in December, and despite only having made her debut for Australia in late 2021, her rise to the top has seen plenty of individual and team success. Across several notable performances in the format during the year, she registered 435 runs at an average of 62.14. One of those moments came in her side’s Commonwealth gold-medal winning cam-paign in Birmingham, starring against Pakistan with an unbeaten 78 and three wickets — a display which helped her win the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for August.

McGrath expressed delight, commenting “It’s an incredible honour to be named the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year, especially with so many incredible players across the world taking to the game to the next level.

“It’s been a great year for the team in the T20 format, winning the first ever women’s cricket gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and beating India at home; this is a really nice way to cap it off.”

Emerging Cricketers of the Year

Among the wealth of exciting talent to have surfaced in international cricket during 2022, India’s Renuka Singh claims the ICC Women’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year from a compet-itive field, and South Africa’s Marco Jansen has beaten strong contenders to win the ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award.