Raza in ICC T20I Team of the Year Sikandar Raza

Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter

SIKANDAR Raza, the Zimbabwean all-rounder has been named in the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20I Team of the Year.

Raza, is part of an 11 men star-studded line up of international cricket stars that also has Sam Curran, son of former Zimbabwean captain and coach, Kevin Curran.

Sikandar Razar

The team is captained by England’s Jos Buttler. 

The middle order batsman and off spin bowler, Raza proved to be a vital part of the Zimbabwe national team with bat and ball, helping his side, for the first time, reach the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup which was held in Australia in October and win their first ever ODI series since 2017.

With 735 runs in the year at a strike-rate of over 150, Raza scored more than 250 runs over the next best Zimbabwe batter in T20Is. He also led the wickets chart for the Chevrons, taking 25 wickets at a rate of 6.13 runs per over. The Chevrons stalwart was also voted player of the tournament at the T20 World Cup Qualifier B in July in Bulawayo.

Raza became the first ever cricketer in history to score 500 runs and take 25 wickets in T20 cricket in a calendar year.

At the World Cup in Australia where he scored 219 runs and took 10 wickets, Raza became, after Australian great Shane Watson, the second player to ever score over 200 runs and take over 10 wickets at a World Cup. A stellar year in the shortest format also saw him break Virat Kohli’s record of most T20 Player of the Match awards in a year with seven which, however, was short lived as Yadav took over.

Some of his best performances in 20 overs cricket last year came against Ireland, West Indies and Pakistan in the World Cup. In the Chevrons’ first match of the campaign, Raza took centre stage, top scoring with 82 off 44 balls and followed it up with good performances with the ball where he took 3-19 against the Windies and 3/25 against eventual finalists, Pakistan. The 82 runs is the highest by a Zimbabwean batsman at a T20 World Cup after Brendan Taylor’s 60 not out against Australia at the 2007 edition in South Africa.

Sikandar Raza

Meanwhile, the third and final One Day International between Zimbabwe and Ireland produced a no result at Harare Sports Club yesterday. Zimbabwe were on 55/1 in 13 overs when rain forced the players off the field and play never resumed, with the series shared at 1-1. Zimbabwe won the first ODI last Wednesday by three wickets (DLS Method) before Ireland levelled matters after winning the second 50 over contest by 46 runs on Saturday. 

Bad weather is also affecting play in Logan Cup matches which head into day four today. Rhinos are facing Tuskers at Kwekwe Sports Club while Eagles and Mountaineers are clashing at Old Hararians. 

ICC T20I Team of the Year: Jos Buttler (England, captain/wicket keeper), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan), Virat Kohli (India), Glen Phillips (New Zealand), Suryakumar Yadav (India), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Hardik Pandya (India), Sam Curran (England), Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka), Harris Rauf (Pakistan), Josh Little (Ireland). 

— @brandon_malvin

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