Rizwan, Beaumont named ICC T20 Cricketers of the Year

Dubai, Jan 23: Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan and England’s Tammy Beaumont were on Sunday named the ICC men’s and women’s T20 Player of the Year respectively, following a prolific run in 2021.
Rizwan ruled the roost in 2021 when it came to the shortest format in the men’s game, while Beaumont finished the year as the third-highest run-getter in women’s T20Is.
Aggregating a staggering 1,326 runs in only 29 matches, Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89.
Apart from his exploits with the bat, he was as solid as ever behind the stumps, playing a key role in Pakistan’s run to the semifinals during the T20 World Cup in the UAE, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer.
He also scored his maiden T20I century against South Africa in Lahore early in the year and continued his form with a brilliant knock of 87 against West Indies in Karachi.
With another T20 World Cup coming up next year, Pakistan will hope that Rizwan continues in the same vein.
Rizwan had also smashed an unbeaten 79 off 55 deliveries in the World Cup opener against India, helping Pakistan record their maiden win over the arch-rivals in the global event.
Meanwhile, Beaumont was her side’s highest run-getter in the year in T20Is.
In a low-scoring rubber against New Zealand away from home, Beaumont was the top scorer and was awarded the Player of the Series for scoring 102 runs in three matches.
She scored a brilliant fifty in a match against India, though it went in vain after a lower-order collapse.
Beaumont continued to make merry against New Zealand, this time when they visited England for a limited-overs tour. She once again finished as the highest run-getter in the series with 113 runs.
Her 97 in the series opener against New Zealand at home propelled England to their highest T20I total in 2021.
South African opener Janneman Malan and Pakistan pacer Fatima Sana were named as the Emerging Cricketers of the Year 2021 across men’s and women’s international cricket respectively.
The 25-year-old Malan played a total of eight ODIs and nine T20Is in the year, but it was the one-day format where he showed his real potential.
He started the year with the T20I series in Pakistan, followed by another ODI and T20I series against the same side at home. At the end of those two series, he had already shown the world his ability with two excellent knocks of 70 and 55 in Centurion.
But his moment of fame arrived when he smashed an unbeaten 177, which was also the fourth highest score by a South African in ODIs, against Ireland in Dublin.
He followed that up with another excellent knock of 121 against Sri Lanka in Colombo and thus ended the year on a good note.
In the women’s category, 20-year-old Fatima had an impressive 2021 as well. She became an integral part of Pakistan’s ODI and T20I side owing to her all-round performance.
Apart from playing at home, Sana also toured Bangladesh, West Indies, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, and delivered impressive all-round performances everywhere. 18 of her 24 wickets in the year came in the 11 matches she played against the West Indies.
As a low order batter, batting at no.8, she also registered impressive unbeaten scores of 28, 22 and 17 against strong sides like West Indies, South Africa, and Zimbabwe respectively. (PTI)