Tahlia McGrath has hailed her award as the ICC women’s Twenty20 International cricketer of the year as a “special” reward after her spectacular 2022 breakthrough.
- Tahlia McGrath captained Australia for the first time last year
- McGrath first played for Australia in 2016, but did not make her T20 debut until late 2021
- The overall men’s and women’s cricketers of the year are still to be announced
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 star India opener Smriti Mandhana, Pakistan all-rounder Nida Dar and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine.
The award marks a spectacular rise for the 27-year-old from Adelaide, who first played for Australia in ODIs in 2016 but only made her T20I debut in October 2021.
She began 2022 with a thumping unbeaten 91 off just 49 balls and took three wickets against England and ended the year with more exceptional performances on the tour to India, where she captained Australia for the first time in the absence of Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy.
“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 all-rounder who was voted ahead of India’s Arshdeep Singh, Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran and New Zealand’s Finn Allen.
Jansen, a 2.08m paceman, 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 1,000 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.