The time has come for the achievements of players and teams over the past year to be recognized. Earlier this week, the ICC released the shortlists for all the nine individual categories of ICC Awards 2022. Among the categories is the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year.
There are four nominees for the award. These nominees are Babar Azam, Ben Stokes, Sikandar Raza, and Tim Southee. The nominees were decided by the Awards Panel which comprises prominent cricket writers and broadcasters from across the globe.
The 2022 nominees for the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year all had memorable moments in the past year. Some of them continue to be powerful players in different matches this year.
Among the nominees, Ben Stokes and his team have shown to be formidable opponents and had England ending 2022 with a bang. Not only have they broken several records, but they displayed plenty of strong plays during their tour of Pakistan.
In the past year, Stokes has scored 870 runs, including two centuries, and picked up 26 wickets. While the player has shown great captaincy and performances in Test cricket, he will be remembered for his innings of 52* in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Out of the nominees, Stokes has achieved 1066 runs and 33 wickets in 28 matches.
Scoring the highest runs among the nominees is Babar Azam with 2598 runs in 44 matches. He was the only player to breach the 2000-run mark in the calendar year across formats.
In 2021, he was the winner of the ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year category. Azam also holds the top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings and led Pakistan to their first T20 World Cup Final since 2009.
One of his most memorable moments in the past year was when he registered the highest score by a Test captain in the fourth innings of a Test.
Sikandar Raza, on the other hand, was a hero for the Zimbabwe team in the past year. He was a force to reckon with in both white-ball formats, scoring more than 600 runs in both T20Is and ODIs. Raza also enjoyed his most prolific year in 2022 with both bat and ball since making his debut in 2013.
A memorable moment in 2022 for Raza was when he scored a mountain of runs for Zimbabwe in 2022. Out of the nominees, he has scored 1380 runs and 33 wickets in 39 matches.
Last but not least is Tim Southee. Southee was one of the stars for New Zealand with the ball in 2022. In the previous year, the player was particularly lethal in the white-ball formats, picking up crucial wickets across all phases of the game.
In the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, he set the tone with a stunning spell of 3/6 in the opening match of the tournament against neighbours and hosts Australia. While Southee did not achieve as many records as the other nominees, he still ended up as a formidable player.
Starting this week until January 9, 2023, fans can vote for their favourite players across all categories after registering on the ICC website.
Aside from the categories fans can vote for, the ICC will also select the winner of ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year, ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year, ICC Spirit of Cricket Award and ICC Umpire of the Year.