Swashbuckling Indian batters Suryakumar Yadav and Smriti Mandhana were on Thursday nominated for the men’s and women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year awards, respectively, for their exploits in 2022.
Suryakumar has been nominated alongside T20 World Cup-winning England all-rounder Sam Curran, Pakistan wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan and Zimbabwe’s batting all-rounder Sikandar Raza for the top honours in the men’s category.
Pakistan bowling all-rounder Nida Dar, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine and Australian Tahlia Mcgrath will give Mandhana competition in the women’s category.
Suryakumar had a sensational 2022 in the shortest format of the game, becoming just the second batter to score more than 1000 runs in a year in the format. He ended the year as the highest run-getter, scoring 1164 runs at a ridiculous strike-rate of 187.43. His tally of 68 sixes in the calendar year in T20s is the highest anyone has recorded in the format in a year by a fair distance.
Suryakumar’s incredible consistency in the format is reflected in his average which stood in the mid-40s. With two hundreds and nine half-centuries in the year, Yadav was the standout men’s T20 batter.
In the T20 World Cup in Australia, he recorded three fifties in six innings, averaging nearly 60 in the tournament while going at a strike-rate of 189.68. He continued his stellar year after the tournament too, recording his second hundred in T20s in the year in the bilateral series in New Zealand. The year also saw Suryakumar become the top-ranked men’s T20 batter, achieving a career-high 890 rating points.
Last year’s ICC women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year, Mandhana was once again a picture of consistency in the shortest format.
From smashing the quickest fifty by an India woman (off just 23 balls) to breaching the 2500-run mark in T20s, Mandhana enjoyed a good run this year.
She left her mark on the Commonwealth Games, the T20 Asia Cup and a memorable five-match home series against Australia towards the business end of a fruitful year. Mandhana’s most exciting innings of 2022 came in the second T20 of the bilateral series against Australia in December. In front of over 47,000 spectators – the highest turnout for a women’s cricket match in India – at the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai, Mandhana smacked a 49-ball 79 while chasing Australia’s 187/1. She was India’s top-scorer in the match, taking the match to the very end as India set up a super over clash after levelling the scores at 187/5. In the super over, India came out to bat first and scored a competitive total of 20/1, out of which Mandhana scored 13 off the last three balls (4, 6, 3). This turned out to be a total well enough for India as they restricted Australia to 16/1, sealing a memorable win in front of a roaring crowd.