Red-hot Raza in line for another gong

ICC Player of the month Raza

INFORM Zimbabwe all-rounder has been recognised for his brilliant performances at the on-going ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after he made the short list for player of the month for the second time in four months.

Raza, who has been the mainstay in the country’s upturn in cricket fortunes in recent months, made history to become the first Zimbabwean to win the ICC player of the month award in August.

England test captain Ben Stokes and New Zealand left arm spin all-rounder Mitchell Santner were the competitors two months ago and this time around he has to contend with India’s talismanic star Virat Kohli and David Miller from South Africa.

It is the first nomination for Kohli and Miller.

The ICC announced the shortlist for the monthly award yesterday which include India’s Asia Cup winning duo of Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma who are in the running for the women’s award, along with Nida Dar of Pakistan.

“The line-up for the ICC men’s player of the month features three superstars from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. India’s talisman Virat Kohli is nominated following his heroics with the bat, most notably in the win against arch-rivals Pakistan,” ICC said in a statement.

“South Africa’s David Miller impressed in the lead-up to the tournament, and continued his sparkling form in Australia, including during his side’s victory over India to secure his place in the shortlist. Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe completes the line-up and seeks to reclaim the award he won in August thanks to a series of player of the match performances in the opening stages of the T20 World Cup,” added the statement.

Raza has been having a dream T20 World Cup campaign as Zimbabwe made its first appearance at the global showpiece since 2016.

The 36-year-old cricketer’s exploits in guiding Zimbabwe to the Super 12 stage have not gone unnoticed.

“Raza is going through a purple patch for performances in 2022, and finds himself nominated for the second time in three months. The talented all-rounder claimed the award back in August and was a key player in sealing Zimbabwe’s qualification through to the Super 12 stages of the T20 World Cup.

“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, including for his contribution in the wins against Ireland (82 not out) and the shock result against Pakistan (3-25),” the ICC said of the Zimbabwean star.

Raza is one of the stars of the Men’s T20 World Cup and was the fifth highest run scorer of the tournament as of yesterday with 185 in six innings while he was joint sixth on the bowler’s list with nine wickets.

The three nominees for either category are shortlisted based on performances from the first to the last day of each calendar month and then voted for by an ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world.

Winners for the ICC monthly awards will be announced next week.

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