Saturday, February 4, 2023

Zimbabwe Cricket: Raza continues to shine after making ICC ODI, T20I teams of the year

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Star all-rounder Sikandar Raza has been named in the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s ODI and T20I teams of the year, becoming the first Zimbabwe male player to achieve the feat.

The line-ups – a feature of the ICC Awards 2022 which captures the best combined XIs across the different formats of men’s and women’s international cricket after an action-packed year of competition – were announced on Tuesday.

After enjoying a terrific run of form during the year, it came as no surprise when Raza was included in the ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year as well as the ICC Men’s T20I Team of the Year.

He is also shortlisted for three of the ICC’s major individual awards.

Apart from his nomination for the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy which celebrates the overall best performing men’s cricketer, Raza is also in the running for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year accolades.

The winners of the individual awards will be announced this week.

Raza first made history when he was named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August 2022, becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the prestigious accolade.

The talented all-rounder clinched the award after he scored three centuries against Bangladesh and India.

He was instrumental in claiming the ODI series victory for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh thanks to unbeaten scores of 135 and 117 which came during two superb run-chases.

Raza followed this up with a fine 115 against India in the final ODI in Harare, albeit in a losing cause.

In addition to his batting feats, he took seven key wickets during August, cementing his growing all-round credentials and seeing him rise to a career-high position of fourth in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings.

Raza then found himself nominated for the second time in three months when he was shortlisted for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for October after he played a key role in Zimbabwe’s qualification through to the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.

Scoring 145 runs and taking nine wickets at a formidable average of 14.66 from his six T20Is, he won three Player of the Match awards at the global showpiece, including for his contribution in the wins against Ireland (82 not out) and the upset result against Pakistan (3/25).

ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year:

Babar Azam (captain) (Pakistan), Travis Head (Australia), Shai Hope (West Indies), Shreyas Iyer (India), Tom Latham (wicketkeeper) (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh), Alzarri Joseph (West Indies), Mohammed Siraj (India), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Adam Zampa (Australia)

ICC Men’s T20I Team of the Year:

Jos Buttler (captain/wicketkeeper) (England), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan), Virat Kohli (India), Suryakumar Yadav (India), Glenn Phillips (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Hardik Pandya (India), Sam Curran (England), Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka), Haris Rauf (Pakistan), Josh Little (Ireland)

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