ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year 2023 shortlist revealed

ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year 2023 shortlist revealed

ICC Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year 2023 shortlist revealed


Source : icc-cricket.com

Three all-rounders and the top-ranked women’s T20I bowler have been shortlisted for the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year 2023 Award.

ICC Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year 2023 shortlist revealed

© ICC 2023 | Courtesy of ICC | Media Zone Access by Trevine Rodrigo (eLanka)

Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka)

470 runs and 8 wickets in 16 matches

The year that was

The veteran Sri Lankan started the year with a Player of the Match performance in Cape Town in the Women’s T20 World Cup, smashing 68 off 50 balls to help Sri Lanka beat South Africa by three runs. The big upset win set the tone for a remarkable year for Sri Lanka women and Athapaththu was at the forefront of it all.

She finished with 470 runs in the year, scoring at a quicker-than-usual strike-rate of 130.91. With 15 sixes in the year, she also hit a personal high in Women’s T20Is.

In the second half of the year, Athapaththu hit a purple patch, recording an unbeaten 80 in 47 balls in Colombo to help Sri Lanka pull back a win in the three-match series against New Zealand. Athapaththu’s assault blew the White Ferns attack away as Sri Lanka went on to chase 141 with all 10 wickets to spare. She then went on to play a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s series triumph over England in England.

Memorable Performance

Athapaththu’s best came in Derby in the series-decider against England. With a chance to create history, Athapaththu led Sri Lanka’s fight with a remarkable all-round display.

She took 3/21, including the big wicket of Amy Jones, to help restrict England to 116 and killed the run-chase with a spectacular 28-ball 44 opening the batting. Her intent was clear right from the get go as she slammed Kate Cross for a six off just the eighth ball in the run-chase.

Notably, the skipper was also the star in Sri Lanka’s maiden t20I triumph over England in the second game of the series with a match-winning half-century and 1/11 in three overs.

Sophie Ecclestone (England)

23 wickets in 11 matches at 10.60

The year that was

The top-ranked women’s T20I bowler finished the Women’s T20 World Cup with 11 wickets, the most by anyone. Ecclestone’s sensational showing in the tournament saw her go past 800 rating points, becoming just the second bowler to do so in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Bowling rankings.

She played a starring role in the T20 World Cup campaign for England, even putting in a brilliant showing in the semi-final, where her 3/22 wasn’t quite enough for England to beat South Africa.

She finished the year with 23 wickets in 11 matches, with an amazing average of 10.60 and bowled at an economy rate of 5.65. Ecclestone ends the year as the No.1 ranked Women’s T20I bowler with 777 rating points. She ended the year on a high, returning to the side after a surgery to her dislocated right shoulder, and finishing the T20Is against India as the joint-highest wicket-taker.

Memorable Performance

Ecclestone had a stellar Women’s T20 World Cup with three three-wicket hauls, but her best performance of the year in the format came on her return after surgery against India at the Wankhede.

Dismissing Harmanpreet Kaur, Shafali Verma and Kanika Ahuja in a brilliant spell of 3/15, Ecclestone helped restrict India to 159 in pursuit of 198 for a win. The left-arm spinner was at her best, varying her pace and trajectory to confound the Indian batters on a surface infamous for speeding up in the second half of the innings.

Ecclestone continued to be crucial in the remaining T20Is of the series, taking 2/13 and 2/43 as England won the series 2-1.

Hayley Matthews (West Indies)

700 runs and 19 wickets in 14 matches

The year that was

The No.1 ranked MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I all-rounder put on a remarkable performance for the ages against Australia in a bilateral T20I series in the second half of the year. Her stellar showing in the series saw her make scores of 99*, 132 and 79 as the West Indies skipper proved to be a thorn to the Australian side.

Matthews’ extraordinary unbeaten 99 in the first game of the series was overshadowed by her mind-blowing 132 in a run-chase of 213 in Sydney. The world-record run-chase in women’s T20Is saw Matthews break several records including that of the highest individual score in a women’s T20I run-chase. Her overall tally of 310 runs in the series is the most by any player in a women’s T20I bilateral series.

Matthews also had a good T20 World Cup, making 130 runs and taking four wickets and four catches. Overall, the all-rounder racked up 700 runs in the year, the most by any player in a year in Women’s T20Is. She also picked up 19 wickets at an average of 16.21 in the year.

West Indies captain Hayley Matthews produced the match-winning performance in a tight encounter against Ireland at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.

Memorable Performance

While Matthews had a stunning all-round game against Ireland where she picked up four wickets and made a 34-ball 48, her remarkable 132 against Australia overshadowed it all. Having taken 3/36 with the ball as Australia made a whopping 212, West Indies were faced with a daunting task in the run-chase.

Matthews raced to 29 off 16 balls in the Powerplay, but nothing could have prepared anyone for the second half of her innings. She hit two fours and a six in the 17th over of the run-chase to race to her century off just 53 balls, and then clubbed Jess Jonassen for four fours in a row in the 19th over to bring the equation down to eight runs needed off six balls.

While Matthews was dismissed in the over, she had set the stage for one of the most outrageous women’s T20I wins of all-time with her blistering 132 off just 64 balls. The innings was studded with 20 fours and five sixes as 110 of her 132 runs came in boundaries.

***Ellyse Perry (Australia) ***

319 runs and 6 wickets wickets in 14 matches

The year that was

Ellyse Perry had a surprisingly ordinary T20 World Cup by her standards, making just 60 runs in four innings with the bat and taking three wickets in the six matches. But she ended the year on a high, putting together scores of 51*, 34, 70 and 40 in the bilaterals against England and West Indies.

A notable aspect of Perry’s year was her continued aggressive intent with the bat as she made 319 runs in 10 innings at an average of 45.57 and a strike-rate of 151.18. With 11 sixes in the year, she surpassed her personal best and showcased a different range to her T20 game.

While her batting stood out in a year where she had little to do with the ball, a standout highlight from her year was a remarkable piece of fielding in the T20 World Cup semi-final game against India. With 18 needed off 9 balls, Perry stopped a boundary in stunning fashion, throwing herself into the air and flicking the ball back to save two runs.

Memorable Performance

Perry’s transformation into a big-hitter came to the fore during the Women’s Ashes in England where her onslaught in the second T20I at the Oval nearly took Australia to an unbelievable win.

Chasing 187, Australia were in all sorts of trouble at 125/6 when Perry changed gears. She was on 21 off 15 balls at that point of time,  but went on to 30 off her next 12 balls as Australia nearly chased down the target. With 20 needed in the last over, Perry couldn’t take the Aussies home, but finished the over with two sixes to complete her half-century.

While the effort didn’t win the game for the team, it was as good a sign as any about Perry’s change as a batter in this format of the game.

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