Tahlia McGrath named world T20 player of year

Tahlia McGrath has hailed her award as the ICC women’s Twenty20 International cricketer of the year as a “pretty special” reward after her spectacular 2022 breakthrough.

McGrath scored 435 runs in 16 matches at an average of 62.14 and took 13 wickets over the year, earning her the prestigious accolade ahead of India’s star opener Smriti Mandhana, Pakistan allrounder Nida Dar and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine.

The award marks a spectacular rise from the 27-year-old from Adelaide, who only made her T20I debut in October 2021 but has since constantly shone in the shortest format of the game.

She began the year with a thumping unbeaten 91 off just 49 balls and three wickets against England and ended it with more exceptional performances on the tour to India.

“It’s an absolute honour to win this,” said McGrath, reflecting that her highlight had been winning the Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham during which she scored 128 runs at an average of 42.66.

“I’m pretty fortunate to play in the team that I do and lucky to play with some of the best players in the world. This one’s pretty special.”

McGrath’s teammate Darcie Brown missed out on the ICC women’s emerging player of the year award after being on the shortlist, with the accolade going to another pace prospect, India’s Renuka Singh.  

The equivalent men’s award went to South African Marco Jansen, the 22-year-old bowling allrounder who was voted ahead of India’s Arshdeep Singh, Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran and New Zealand’s Finn Allen.

The 2.08m paceman Jansen has made his biggest impact so far in Test cricket, but will next set his sights on troubling England in the ODI series that begins in Johannesburg on Friday.

India’s white-ball sensation Suryakumar Yadav took the men’s T20I player of the year as the only batter to score more than 1000 runs in the format in 2022, with two centuries and nine half-centuries.

On Thursday, the final major awards will be announced, with Australia’s Beth Mooney on the shortlist for women’s cricketer of the year alongside England’s Nat Sciver, Indian Smriti Mandhana and New Zealander Amelia Kerr.

England’s Test captain Ben Stokes is the hot favourite to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for men’s cricketer of the year, ahead of Pakistan’s Babar Azam, Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza and New Zealand’s Tim Southee.

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