Sunday, February 25, 2024

Usman Khawaja named ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year 2023 – N.F Times


Dubai: A star of Australia’s World Test Championship triumph, opener Usman Khawaja has been crowned the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year for 2023. Khawaja’s stellar performances throughout the year played a crucial role in Australia securing their first ICC World Test Championship title.

The left-handed batter commenced the year on a sublime note, carrying forward his momentum from the previous season by achieving a career-best score of 195 not out against South Africa.

Undeterred by challenges, Khawaja showcased his mettle during the away series against India, emerging as the top run-scorer with an impressive tally of 333 runs in four matches, featuring a century and two half-centuries.

While facing a rare setback in the World Test Championship Final, Khawaja rebounded emphatically during the Ashes against England, once again finishing as the highest run-getter in the series with an outstanding 496 runs. His pivotal contributions included crucial partnerships with Travis Head, Cameron Green, and Alex Carey, demonstrating his ability to navigate pressure situations with grace.

Khawaja’s exceptional year reached its pinnacle with three scores of 40+ against Pakistan, culminating in a grand total of 1210 runs for the year. Notably, he stood alone as the sole player to breach the four-figure mark for Test runs in the challenging yet rewarding year of 2023.

The left-handed star’s standout performances included significant tons against South Africa (195*) and India (180), but it was against arch-rivals England in the Ashes where he truly shone.

In the opening Test, after a surprise declaration at 393/8, Khawaja’s resilient century played a pivotal role in Australia’s pursuit of England’s total. His determination and skill were evident in the second innings as well, where he batted with grit for 65 off 197 balls, setting the stage for a memorable Ashes victory.

For his impactful century and crucial contribution in the second innings, Khawaja rightfully earned the Player of the Match accolade, adding another feather to his illustrious cap.

(IANS) 




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