The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday, December 29, revealed the nominations for the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Year for 2021. The nominees include Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, Australia’s Mitchell Marsh, and England batter Jos Buttler.
Mohammad Rizwan has been in his best form this year, accumulating a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches at an average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 134.89 with one century as well as getting 24 dismissals in his name.
He was an instrumental figure in getting Pakistan to the semis during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer of the tournament. His most memorable knock came against India when Rizwan smashed 79* in only 55 deliveries laced with six fours and three maximums, helping the side register a historic 10-wicket victory against their arch-rivals.
He scored the very first T20I century of his career while playing against South Africa in Lahore. He followed it up with a brilliant knock of 87 against the West Indies in Karachi.
Sri Lankan spin specialist Wanindu Hasaranga scalped 36 wickets in 20 matches at 11.63. He also registered 196 runs in the matches, including one half-century, thus giving an all-round performance.
Wanindu Hasaranga earned his spot in the ICC Men’s Player of the Year owing to his consistent form throughout the year. He was particularly exceptional during the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. He finished as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 16 wickets under his belt and also proved to be dependable with the bat, one such knock being his 71 against Ireland. His memorable performance of the year unarguably comes against South Africa in Sharjah when he picked up a hat-trick, finishing with the figure 3/20.
Mitchell Marsh is the third nominee of the ICC Men’s Player of the Year, his stats including 627 runs in 27 matches at 36.88. He also clinched 8 wickets at 18.37 in the games.
Marsh played a key role in helping the Australian team claim their maiden T20 World Cup silverware as he was promoted to the No. 3 position in the batting order. He amassed 185 runs in six matches at an average of 61.66 and an impressive strike rate of 146.82. His most noteworthy performance from the tournament is his unbeaten 77 off 50 balls studded with six fours and four sixes.
Speaking of the next nominee of the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Year, if there is one player who has managed to grab eyeballs every time he stepped out to bat will be England’s, Jos Buttler. Buttler ended the T20 World Cup 2021 as England’s leading run-scorer with 269 runs. He smacked the first ton of the tournament against Sri Lanka in Sharjah, which he brought up in just 67 deliveries. He was equally exceptional in the series England played against India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan this year.