The International Cricket Council (ICC) have shortlisted England star batter Jos Buttler, Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan and Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga for the ICC T20I Player of the Year award.
29-year-old Pakistani cricketer Rizwan ruled the roost in 2021 in the shortest format of the game, smashing a whopping 1,326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89.
He played a key role in Pakistan’s run to the semifinals during the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. He also scored the maiden T20I century of his career against South Africa in Lahore earlier in the year and ended 2021 with a brilliant knock of 87 against West Indies in Karachi.
Wicketkeeper-batter Buttler made 589 runs in 14 matches at an average of 65.44 with one century and 13 dismissals in 2021. His great form continued against India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and he ended the T20 World Cup as England’s leading run-scorer with 269 runs.
Australia’s T20 World Cup hero with the bat, Mitchell Marsh too has been shortlisted for the award after smashing 627 runs in 27 matches at an average of 36.88. He also took eight wickets at strike rate of 18.37.
Heading into the T20 World Cup tournament in the UAE, Marsh was in supreme confidence as he aggregated 185 runs in six matches at an average of 61.66 and a strike-rate of 146.82. He would reserve the best for the last, playing a match-winning 77 off 50 deliveries consisting of six fours and four sixes in the final against New Zealand.
It was a breakthrough year for Sri Lankan Wanindu Hasaranga, who established himself as one of the best spinners in the shortest format, taking 36 wickets in 20 matches at an average of 11.63. He established himself as a player who could contribute with the bat, making 196 runs with one half-century in 2021.
Last year, Virat Kohli was named ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade while MS Dhoni won the Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade. This year, however, no Indian cricketer features on the list.