Srinagar: The all conquering Australia captain Pat Cummins has been named as
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy ICC Cricketer of the year 2023 by the ICC.
The inspirational captain had a stellar run with the bat and ball, and garnered remarkable team accolades, including a victory in the ICC World Test Championship Final, retention of the Ashes, and a record sixth triumph in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
Cummins’ presence at the helm since late 2021 has lifted his team to greater heights. It has also sealed his legacy as a player who ups his game in positions of greater responsibility.
Cummins overcame compatriot Travis Head and India duo Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja to take this honour home.
Record in 2023:
422 runs and 59 wickets in 24 matches
The year that was
Pat Cummins had a truly remarkable 2023, excelling as a player and winning several accolades as captain.
After an early low of losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy away from home against India, Cummins’ Australia lifted themselves and achieved important milestones. It began with a vehement win over India in the WTC final at The Oval, followed by a successful Ashes defence in England, and ended with a splendid comeback in the World Cup. After losing the first two games, Australia won nine on a trot to lift the World Cup trophy for a record sixth time.
As a player, Cummins showed all-round form in the Test arena. He continued playing a crucial role in Australia’s pace attack, while also upping the ante with the bat when required. This showed in the opening Ashes Test in Birmingham. Despite going wicketless in the first innings, he contributed with a sturdy 38 to lessen the English advantage to merely 10 runs.
Cummins then picked four wickets to ensure that Australia’s ask was under 300. And when the tourists were in trouble at 192/6 and then 229/8, Cummins played a fighting knock to win Australia a riveting Test.
In the ODIs, he played several crucial knocks lower down the order, while also making crucial breakthroughs in his economic spells.
Cummins signed off a remarkable year with his second 10-wicket haul in Test cricket. This helped Australia win the Test series against Pakistan.
Cummins’ best came in the most crucial cricket game of the year. After winning the toss against India in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad, the Australia skipper elected to take the field. His opposite number, Rohit Sharma helped India to a positive start and threatened to take the game away from Australia. Cummins gambled by introducing the part-timer, Glenn Maxwell, in the first Powerplay itself. The move worked wonders as India’s belligerent skipper played one shot too many and was brilliantly held by Head.
However, Cummins doubled the advantage by accounting for the in-form Shreyas Iyer in the very next over. He later dismissed Kohli, the highest run-getter in the tournament, and stifled India’s batting with his disciplined bowling. His bowling changes and field placements worked to perfection, as India struggled to merely 240. Cummins finished with 2/34.
Australia overhauled this total with ease and lifted the trophy for a record sixth time.