Zimbabwe allrounder Sikandar Raza has expressed his delight at being shortlisted for three major International Cricket Council (ICC) awards, including the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy which is awarded annually to the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year.
Raza is in contention to win a hat-trick ICC awards after he was shortlisted for the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year accolades.
The ICC unveiled the full list of players shortlisted for the ICC Awards 2022 this Friday, highlighting the star performers from across the men’s and women’s game during a the year.
For the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Raza is nominated alongside Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, New Zealand paceman Tim Southee and England’s Ben Stokes.
In the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year category, the Zimbabwe star is pitted against Azam, Shai Hope (West Indies) and Adam Zampa (Australia).
Apart from Raza, the other nominees for the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year accolade are Sam Curran (England), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan) and Suryakumar Yadav (India).
Raza, who was also named in ESPNcricinfo’s ODI Team of the Year on Thursday, took to his social media platforms to express his delight at the nominations, which could see him win a hattrick of awards.
The cricket star said the nominations were a big honour not only for him but the entire Zimbabwe cricket fraternity and fans.
“I just want to take this moment to say #alhamdulillah (praise be to God) and to thank everyone for their prayers and wishes that I’ve have received and (I) am still receiving,” Raza said.
“Indeed it is a massive honour (for) my country, people of Zimbabwe, fans of Zimbabwe all around the world, my family and myself for making the ESPNcricinfo ODI Team of the Year and been shortlisted for ICC ODI and T20 cricketer of the year. Feeling really #blessed #inshaallah #t20 #cricket #visitzimbabwe #teamsport #alhamdulilahforeverything,” Raza wrote on his social media platforms.
Shortlists for the ICC Awards 2022 categories were determined by a specialist panel of cricket writers and broadcasters, identifying the nominees based on statistics and overall achievements in international cricket through the calendar year.
Raza had a year to remember in 2022.
He was named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August 2022, becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the prestigious accolade.
The talented all-rounder clinched the award after he scored three centuries against Bangladesh and India.
Raza was instrumental in claiming the ODI series victory for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh thanks to unbeaten scores of 135 and 117 which came during two superb run-chases.
He followed this up with a fine 115 against India in the final ODI in Harare, albeit in a losing cause.
In addition to his batting feats, he took seven key wickets during August which lifted him to a career-high position of fourth in the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings.
Raza then found himself nominated for the second time in three months when he was shortlisted for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for October after he played a key role in Zimbabwe’s qualification through to the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.
Scoring 145 runs and taking nine wickets at a formidable average of 14.66 from his six T20Is, he won three Player of the Match awards at the global showpiece.
Voting in the ICC Awards 2022 will commence next week where the ICC Voting Academy will submit their selections alongside global cricket fans, who will once again be encouraged to vote at icc-cricket.com for their winners.
The award winners will be announced later in January 2023.
I just wanted to take this moment to say #Alhamdulilah and to thank you all for your prayers that I’ve received & am receiving.
Massive honor for 🇿🇼, people of 🇿🇼 , my family and myself to be named in ODI team of the year and shortlisted for ODI and T20 cricketer of the year. pic.twitter.com/GKTBlGFdCu
— Sikandar Raza (@SRazaB24) December 30, 2022