Dubai, Dec 29 (FN Agency) 360-degree Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav and Smriti Mandhana on Thursday have been nominated for the men’s and women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year awards, respectively, for their exploits in 2022.Suryakumar has been nominated alongside T20 World Cup-winning England all-rounder Sam Curran, Pakistan wicket keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan and Zimbabwe’s batting all-rounder Sikandar Raza for the top honours in the men’s category. Pakistan bowling all-rounder Nida Dar, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine and Australian Tahlia Mcgrath will give Mandhana competition in the women’s category. Suryakumar had a sensational 2022 in the shortest format of the game, becoming just the second batter to score more than 1000 runs in a year in the format. He ended the year as the highest run-getter, scoring 1164 runs at a ridiculous strike-rate of 187.43. His tally of 68 sixes in the calendar year in T20Is is the highest anyone has recorded in the format in a year by a fair distance. Suryakumar’s incredible consistency in the format is reflected in his average which stood in the mid-40s.
With two hundreds and nine half-centuries in the year, Suryakumar was the standout men’s T20I batsman.In the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, Suryakumar recorded three fifties in six innings, averaging nearly 60 in the tournament while going at a strike-rate of 189.68. He continued his stellar year after the tournament too, recording his second hundred in T20Is in the year in the bilateral series in New Zealand. The year also saw Suryakumar become the top-ranked MF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings, achieving a career-high 890 rating points. In what was an outstanding year for Suryakumar in T20Is, there were quite a few eye-catching performances. His maiden T20I hundred, a stunning 117 off 55 balls against England in Nottingham, however, stood out. From 31/3 in a run chase of 216, Suryakumar lifted India with his outrageous stroke-making, giving the visitors a chance at chasing down the target. His dismissal sealed India’s hopes, but he put the team within touching distance of what would have been an incredible win. Last year’s ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year nominee features yet again in the same category.
That is some consistency from India’s batting mainstay – the super-talented Mandhana.From smashing the quickest fifty by an Indian woman (off just 23 balls) to breaching the 2500-run mark in T20Is, Mandhana enjoyed a good run this year, leaving her mark on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the Women’s T20 Asia Cup in Bangladesh, and a memorable five-match T20I home series against Australia towards the business end of a fruitful year.Mandhana’s most exciting innings of 2022 came in the second T20I of the bilateral series against Australia in December. In front of over 47,000 spectators- the highest turnout for a women’s cricket match in India – at the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai, Mandhana smacked a 49-ball 79 while chasing Australia’s 187/1. She was India’s top-scorer in the match, taking the match to the very end as India set up a Super Over clash after leveling the scores at 187/5.In the Super Over, India came out to bat first and scored a competitive total of 20/1, out of which Mandhana scored 13 off the last three balls (4, 6, 3). This turned out to be a total well enough for India as they restricted Australia to 16/1, sealing a memorable win in front of a roaring crowd.