New Delhi: Harmanpreet Kaur’s swashbuckling show at the World Cup fetched her the women’s batting performance of the year honour, while wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were recognised for their stupendous run among the men in the ESPNCricinfo annual Awards. Indian players were picked for three out of the 12 awards on offer, the most by any nation.
Harmanpreet’s undefeated and career-best 171 against Australia during the World Cup, where India ended as runners-up, was chosen as the women’s batting performance of the year.
Chahal, the right-arm leg-break bowler, was awarded the T20 bowling performance of the year award for his magical six for 25 in the third T20 against England in Bengaluru. Yadav, who came into the limelight for his performance in the Dharamsala Test against Australia, and is now an integral part of the national team,was declared debutant of the year for his 43 wickets across three formats in 2017.
This is the second consecutive year that ESPNcricinfo has had awards for batting and bowling in women’s cricket across all three international formats.
The Captain of the Year award went to a female player for the first time as Heather Knight won the title for her leadership in guiding England to wins in nine out of 12 ODIs, including the World Cup title. Knights team-mate Anya Shrubsole won the women’s bowling performance of the Year for her six for 46 in the World Cup final against India.
Australia’s Steven Smith was also among the awardees for his stellar performances. His 109 runs versus India that led to Australia’s win in the first Border-Gavaskar Test in Pune was voted the Test batting performance of the year. His team-mate Nathan Lyon had the best Test figures by a touring bowler in India, with a haul of eight for 50 against India in the second Test, in Bengaluru. This performance won him the Test bowling performance of the year award. Evin Lewis picked up the T20I batting performance of the year award for his 125 not out against India in Kingston, which powered West Indies through to a nine-wicket win.
Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir together led Pakistan to victory in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, and they were awarded the ODI batting performance of the year and bowling performance of the Year respectively.
The winners were selected by an 18-member independent jury, including former cricket giants such as Ian Chappell, Ramiz Raja, Courtney Walsh, Mark Butcher, Daryll Cullinan, Russel Arnold, and former umpire Simon Taufel among others.
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