Suryakumar named Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year; Matthews wins in Women’s category
NEW DELHI — India’s maverick batter Suryakumar Yadav has won the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year award for the second successive time. West Indies’ all-rounder captain Hayley Matthews was named the winner of the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year award.
Suryakumar was also named the captain of ICC Men’s T20I team of the year for 2023. In 17 T20I innings, Suryakumar scored 733 runs at an average of 48.86 and strike-rate of 155.95 to dominate run-scoring in the shortest format in 2023. He beat competition from New Zealand’s Mark Chapman, Uganda’s Alpesh Ramjani and Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza to win the coveted honour.
His first T20I knock of the year was a mere seven against Sri Lanka, but he shined in the next two matches with scores of 51 (36) and 112 not out (51) in Pune and Rajkot respectively. An innings of 83 (44) against the West Indies in Providence, Guyana, in August was followed by a knock of 61 (45) in Lauderhill, Florida, USA.
Suryakumar also went on to take the T20I leadership role of a young India side towards the end of the year. He made half-centuries against Australia (80 off 42 balls) and South Africa (56 from 36 balls), before posting a century off just 56 balls in India’s final T20I of the year in Johannesburg.
“I am thrilled to win the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year award for a second time. Winning back-to-back awards for my performances in this format is something I could only dream about when I made my international debut. I have put my heart and soul into playing for my country and to see my efforts rewarded with such a prestigious honour is very humbling.
“Congratulations are due to my fellow nominees on their excellent performances in 2023. I’d like to thank my teammates and support staff for giving me the platform to succeed, and I want to also extend my gratitude to fans and voters worldwide for allowing me to celebrate this accolade.
“I hope that I can continue this success alongside my teammates for what will be a huge year of T20I cricket ahead, with the Men’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies just around the corner,” said Suryakumar in an ICC statement.
On the other hand, just like Suryakumar, Hayley also topped the run-scoring charts for the year, racking up 700 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 132.32. She also picked up 19 wickets at an average of 16.21 through her off-spin bowling.
Her extraordinary unbeaten 99 in the first game of the series against Australia was overshadowed by her mind-blowing 132 in a run-chase of 213 in Sydney. Acing the world-record run-chase in women’s T20Is saw Hayley break several records including that of the highest individual score in a women’s T20I run-chase.
Hayley staved off close competition from Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu, Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry and England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone. “I’ve been pretty blessed to have a good year wearing the West Indies colours, performing really well and helping the team.”
“This is one of those awards that I’m going to cherish forever and knowing that it can make our West Indies fans home in the Caribbean and around the world happy is what motivates me to go out there and do my best,” said Hayley.
Her overall tally of 310 runs in the series against Australia is the most by any player in a women’s T20I bilateral series. Significantly, Hayley had a run of eight consecutive Player of the Match awards, having also won all three in a preceding series in Ireland and two from ICC Women’s T20 World Cup matches in South Africa against Ireland and Pakistan.