New Delhi: New Zealand all-rounder Rachin Ravindra and Australia opener Phoebe Litchfield have been crowned winners of the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year in men’s and women’s category respectively. Netherlands all-rounder Bas de Leede and Kenya captain Queentor Abel were named Associate Cricketers of the Year in men’s and women’s category respectively.
Ravindra edged competition from India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, and fast bowlers Dilshan Madushanka and Gerald Coetzee of Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively. Ravindra, the left-handed batting all-rounder from New Zealand, made headlines in 2023 for his ODI exploits, a format he debuted in March.
He showed glimpses early with a knock of 49 against Sri Lanka to begin, also chiming in with the ball, taking consecutive three-wicket hauls against Pakistan and England, both away from home. A fifty against England at Lord’s followed, before showing maturity in his 123 not out off 96 balls in New Zealand’s opening match of the Men’s ODI World Cup against England.
A knock of 51 against the Netherlands followed, before another half-century against India in a thrilling game in Dharamsala. Ravindra went on to smash 116 in a spirited chase against Australia at the same venue, before another century against Pakistan in Bengaluru, the hometown of his parents. Ravindra’s 578 runs was the highest tally for a New Zealand player in a single edition of the Men’s ODI World Cup.
“It’s obviously a very special feeling. Whenever you are recognized by the ICC for something, it’s always special. Reflecting back, it has been a pretty whirlwind last year or so. Having the opportunity to play so much cricket in so many different environments has been really special. Congratulations to all the fellow nominees, all of whom had an incredible year and performed brilliantly,” said Ravindra in an ICC statement.
In the women’s category, Phoebe started the year in great touch as she smashed consecutive unbeaten half-centuries in her first two ODI matches at home against Pakistan. Despite narrowly missing out on selection for Australia’s squad at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, Litchfield returned to international action with a Player of the Match performance by hitting her first century in international cricket with an unbeaten 106 against Ireland in Dublin.
She then smashed five sixes and an unbeaten 52 from just 19 deliveries in her first T20I contest of the year against the West Indies at the start of October, before taking Player of the Series award in Australia’s recent 3-0 ODI series win over India, including a fine 119 at the Wankhede Stadium.
Phoebe won the award ahead of England pacer Lauren Bell, Bangladesh fast-bowler Marufa Akter and Scotland all-rounder Darcey Carter. “I’m thrilled to be named the ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year. It’s an honour to be nominated alongside incredible cricketers and I’d like to extend my congratulations to all award nominees. IANS