ICC announces nominees for Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2023

A pair of exciting fast bowlers and two classy left-hand batters are in the running for ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year honours for 2023

ICC announces nominees for Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2023 PHOTO: ICC

A pair of exciting fast bowlers and two classy left-hand batters are in the running for ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year honours for 2023

Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand)

820 ODI runs at 41, Strike Rate 108.03, 18 wickets at 46.61, economy 6.02
91 T20I runs at 18.20, Strike Rate 133.82, 5 wickets at 32.80, economy 9.11

The year that was

The “next player up” mentality of New Zealand was tested again in 2023, but the Black Caps once again showed the (significance) of their system, with Rachin Ravindra hitting his stride on the biggest stage.

While representing his country in the other two formats before 2023, it was the ODI format, where he debuted in March, that he has shown his capabilities.

He showed glimpses early with a knock of 49 against Sri Lanka to begin, also chiming in with the ball, taking consecutive three-wicket hauls against Pakistan and England, both away from home.

A fifty against England at Lord’s followed, though it was the World Cup where Ravindra flourished. Needing someone to stand up in the absence of Kane Williamson, the left-hander showed class and mental nous beyond his years in a knock of 123* (96), throwing down New Zealand’s World Cup challenge.

Even with the attention and opposition gameplans now with more focus on him, Ravindra continued to show his class. A knock of 51 against the Dutch followed, before another half-century against India in Dharamsala. Not done, Ravindra ramped up at the backend, making 116 in a spirited chase against Australia at the same venue, before another century against Pakistan in Bengaluru.

Ravindra’s 578 runs was the highest tally for a New Zealand player at the tournament, with only Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock bettering him.

Memorable Performance

Questions were raised on how New Zealand would line up to begin the Cricket World Cup, needing to move things around to accommodate for those forced out.

Once again, New Zealand made the most of what they had instead of lamenting of what they were lacking: Ravindra joined Devon Conway at 10/1 in the pursuit of England’s 283, looked at his first seven balls, before hitting Chris Woakes for boundaries in back-to-back deliveries to begin his charge.

Ravindra went on to swat Mark Wood for ten runs in another flash two-ball sequence, and brought up his half-century with a six off just his 36th delivery faced.

Rachin powered on against the spin of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, reaching three figures in 82 balls by pushing Liam Livingstone into the leg-side. He and Conway coasted to England’s total, and Ravindra had the honour of finishing things off in just the 37th over.

Gerald Coetzee (South Africa)

10 Test wickets at 21.70, economy 3.87
31 ODI wickets at 23.22, economy 6.48
6 T20I wickets at 23.33, economy 10.50

The year that was

The Proteas needed a new face to step up on the bowling side, and it was Gerald Coetzee to stand tall, even under the pressures of playing at a Cricket World Cup.

Coetzee’s exploits on the global stage were the icing on the cake of a prolific year, though it was his consistency in all three formats that proved his substance: two wickets per innings in Test cricket, a rate he bettered in ODI cricket, and a wicket every 13 balls in the shortest format.

Clocking speeds in excess of 145kph, Coetzee first showed his wares in Test whites, taking three wickets in just 18 overs on his debut against the West Indies in Centurion in February.

Six wickets in the Johannesburg Test followed, before a wicket in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test against India.

South Africa on paper looked lacking in the pace department before Cricket World Cup 2023 after Anrich Nortje was ruled out, though Coetzee’s lead-in and tournament proper only proved South Africa need not have worried. All in all Coetzee claimed 31 wickets at an average of 23.22, only going wicketless twice in the format across the year - both against Australia - in their preparation series for the global tournament.

Coetzee’s 1/57 against the Netherlands was his only non-multiple-wicket performance in India, claiming three wicket-hauls against England and Bangladesh, and a four-wicket haul against Afghanistan in Ahmedabad. Coetzee went on to take 2/47 (9) against Australia in the semi-final as one of the Proteas’ best in a spirited effort trying to defend 212.

In four T20Is, Coetzee went on to claim half a dozen wickets across 13.2 overs, claiming 3/32 in a highlight performance against India in Gqeberha.

Memorable Performance

A performance of 4/44 from 10 overs against Afghanistan by numbers would tell you Coetzee was excellent on its own, but it was the constant pressure applied by the quick in the three phases of the innings that underlines the quick’s versatility.

Coetzee removed Ibrahim Zadran in the last over of the Powerplay, before coming back to dismiss Ikram Alikhil in the middle overs to stifle Afghanistan’s innings.

The youngster was held back for a final flurry at the end, taking the wickets of Noor Ahmad and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, to keep his opponents to a total of 244. His Proteas teammates went on to comfortably chase the target set, and the performance ensured South Africa carried momentum through to the semi-final stages of the World Cup.

Dilshan Madushanka (Sri Lanka)

15 ODI wickets at 24.06, economy 6.09
12 T20I wickets at 29.41, economy 9.80

The year that was

In a unique year for Sri Lankan cricket, consigned to the Qualifier for a Cricket World Cup before the tournament proper, the 23-year-old was a standout with ball in hand.

Had Dushmantha Chameera not gone down injured at the Qualifier though, we may not have seen Madushanka truly blossom. The left-armer only came in as an injury replacement during the tournament, and it’s fair to say he cashed in when given the opportunity.

Madushanka entered with 1/38 (8) against The Netherlands, kicking into gear with a barnstorming 3/15 (5) performance against Zimbabwe, taking the wickets of both openers and Wessly Madhevere at No.3. A 1/49 (10) against the West Indies followed, before a Player of the Match performance in the tournament final in another meeting with the Dutch, taking 3/18 (7).

The quick stepped up at the World Cup, claiming 11 wickets in his first four outings, with a 4/49 (9.4) performance, against the Dutch again. 

Madushanka went on to finish with 21 wickets at an average of 25 in the main tournament, with a five-wicket haul against India, and 3/69 (10) against Bangladesh.

On the T20I side, six of Madushanka’s dozen wickets were claimed at the T20 Asia Cup, doing so at an economy of 25.83.

Memorable Performance

Madushanka’s name dominated the top of India’s scorecard, taking five of their top six in the heat of the Wankhede Stadium deep into the Cricket World Cup group stage.

The left-armer hushed the crowd with a ripsnorter to dismiss Rohit Sharma in the first over, and returned to remove Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli in successive overs through the middle.

Madushanka went on to strike twice at the death, claiming Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer. The return of 80 runs was on the expensive side, but the youngster made quite the impression and earned the respect of the parochial crowd for the opposition.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (India)

283 Test runs at 70.75
430 T20I runs at 33.07, Strike Rate 159.25

The year that was

The year of 2023 promised opportunities for youngsters looking to make their mark for India, and the now-22-year-old grabbed almost every opportunity that came his way.

Jaiswal was presented his Test cap in Caribbean in July, and the left-hander made the most of the chance, making a century opening the batting in Dominica, and earning Player of the Match accolades. He added 57 and 38 in the second Test of the tour, of which the half-century was made in an opening stand of 139 with Rohit Sharma.

Jaiswal earned a T20I debut on the same tour, and despite a blip in his first match, he responded with an innings of 84* from just 51 balls. He posted an even 100 (49) against Nepal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, before half-centuries against Australia (53 from 25 balls) and 60 (41) against South Africa.

Jaiswal’s performances hint at an ODI berth sooner rather than later, and another prosperous year in 2024.

Memorable Performance

India fans were no doubt intrigued when yet another U19 World Cup star earned a senior debut, and the left-hander delivered with a stay of over eight hours at the Windsor Park crease, making 171 to set up an innings win against the West Indies.

Jaiswal hit 16 fours and a six in the innings, and the youngster became the 17th player from India to make a century on Test debut, and the seventh India player to achieve the feat away from home.

The 229-run opening stand between Rohit and Jaiswal was also the second-highest for India in Tests in the West Indies, and set the tourists up to a total of 421/5 declared.