2018 has witnessed some stunning cricketing action so far. There was no shortage of drama, fun, and intense battles as top cricketing nations fought hard for supremacy.
As the year comes to a close, International Cricket Council- ICC has once again announced the ICC awards 2018.
Acknowledging the best performances and highlighting the rising stars of the year, these awards hold key importance. ICC started ICC Awards in 2004 and has honored international cricketers in various categories and formats.
The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, famously known as, ICC Cricketer of the Year, is awarded to the best player of the year across formats.
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ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year
India has been leading from the front when it comes to the top awards. Four Indians have won the award since 2004 and Virat Kohli was the latest one in 2017.
This year has proved to be even more monumental for Indians because of two reasons:
India’s stylish left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana has won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year
She has also been named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year by the International Cricket Council.
At the age of 22, Mandhana already has many more accolades to her name than one can imagine.
She has scored 669 runs at an average of 66.90 in 12 ODIs and 622 runs at a strike-rate of 130.67 in 25 T20Is during the voting period, which ran from 1 January to 31 December 2018.
Mandhana played a crucial role in India’s semi-final appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, scoring 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35
Currently, this fierce cricketer is ranked at number 4 in the ICC Women’s player ranking of ODI Batsmen.
Mandhana becomes only the second India woman player to win an ICC award after fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007.
She is the only Asian woman to receive this award at such a young age. Smriti’s robust style has registered amongst the top critics and she is expected to play a crucial role for India in the future.
ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year
Australia’s opener and wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy has been named ICC Women’s T20 player of the year.
She has been the backbone of the Australian team and has given some phenomenal performances in the recent past.
Alyssa has played some unforgettable knocks in the T20 World Cup. She finished with 225 runs in six matches at the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the West Indies.
A right-handed batter and wicket-keeper, she is the daughter of Greg Healy, who was part of the Queensland squad, while her uncle Ian Healy was Australia’s Test wicket-keeper and held the world record for the most Test dismissals.
ICC Women’s Emerging Player of the Year
19 Years old English spinner, Sophie Ecclestone has been voted the ICC Women’s Emerging Player of the Year. Sophie took 18 wickets in nine ODIs and 17 in 14 T20Is during the calendar year.
She made her T20 debut against Pakistan on 3rd July 2016 in England.
The awards have been decided after careful contemplation by the jury. A group of prestigious former cricketers were included in the voting academy and decided the fate of these awards.
The voting academy included:
- Melinda Farrell (Australia)
- Melanie Jones (Australia)
- Lisa Sthalekar (Australia)
- Charlotte Edwards (England)
- Kalika Mehta (England)
- Anjum Chopra, (India)
- Snehal Pradhan (India)
- Lesley Murdoch (New Zealand),
- Urooj Mumtaz (Pakistan),
- Natalie Germanos (South Africa),
- Alan Wilkins (Wales)
- Ian Bishop (West Indies).
While the women have made their nations proud, it’ll be interesting to see who wins in the men’s category. It’s definitely going to be a tough competition as some of the giants of the cricketing world will face one another.
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