Hamilton Masakadza is a strong favourite to win the 2010 cricketer of the year award after he was named together with his national team skipper, Elton Chigumbura, as the nominees for the award.
The CBZ Bank cricket awards take place on Friday. Legendary former West Indies skipper and star batsman Brian Lara will grace the event.
After the form he displayed, both on the domestic and international scenes, Masakadza could walk out with both the batsman and cricketer of the year awards.
For the batsman of the year award, he faces stiff challenge from Brendan Taylor — the highest-ranked Zimbabwean batsman in One Day Internationals (ODIs) at the moment.
According to the Reliance Mobile ICC Rankings, Taylor is in position 38 while Masakadza is the second highest-ranked Zimbabwean in 47th position. Chigumbura is ranked number 62.
Masakadza was the main man last season. The 2009-2010 season was probably Masakadza’s best since he became the youngest player to score a century on his Test debut in 2001.
He scored over 1 000 runs in ODIs in the calendar year at an average of 43,48 at a strike rate of 88,08; including scores of 156 and 178 not out in the home series against Kenya.
Thus, he became the first batsman to score 150 or more twice in the same one-day series. He also captained the Mountaineers franchise to the inaugural Stanbic Twenty20 tournament and the Faithwear Metbank Limited Overs trophy.
His main challenger for the award, Chigumbura, also won the prestigious Logan Cup with Mashonaland Eagles. He is now playing county cricket for Northamptonshire in England.
During the period under review, Chigumbura enjoyed a good run at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup warm-up matches in the Carribbean where Zimbabwe shocked Australia and Pakistan in warm-up matches.
Spinner Raymond Price will be defending his accolade against national teammate Graeme Cremer for the bowler of the year award.
lMeanwhile, according to the fixtures for the new domestic season that were released Tuesday, defending Logan Cup Champions Mashonaland Eagles will start the defence of their Logan Cup title away to Southern Rocks in Masvingo.