Sikandar Raza
Cricket World Cup

CWCQ Player of the Tournament: Sikandar Raza

CWCQ, feature

Hit For Six!

The Zimbabwe all-rounder was selected as the standout individual at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier by the official judging panel chaired by Ian Bishop.

Zimbabwe's qualifying campaign may have ended in heartbreak – as the hosts suffered a shock defeat to UAE in their final Super Sixes match to miss out on a place at the main event next year – but the announcement that Sikandar Raza, their box-office all-rounder, has been selected as the Player of the Tournament at least provided some consolation. 

Video Highlights of Raza's superb campaign 25 Mar 18
Player of the Tournament - Sikandar Raza

The 31-year-old spoke frankly after Zimbabwe's exit, apologising to supporters via Twitter after the defeat to UAE, but in truth he had nothing to be sorry for after a series of superlative performances. 

Raza struck 319 runs in all, a tally only bettered by his teammate Brendon Taylor, and boasted a strike rate of 109; while his haul of 15 wickets was the joint fifth-highest in the tournament. He was also a livewire in the field, with his all-round performances making him a worthy winner of the accolade. 

Video cwc19 19 Mar 18
CWCQ POTD - Raza takes a stunner to dismiss Hope

He started the competition as he meant to continue, smashing a stunning 123 from 66 balls against Nepal – an innings that contained seven fours and nine sixes – before taking 3/48 with his off-spin to claim the Player of the Match award in a 116-run victory. 

He then took three-wicket hauls in each of his next two games, against Afghanistan and Hong Kong, and hit 60 versus the former in another Player of the Match display. 

Raza struck his third 50-plus score of the competition – 69* off 83 balls – in a comprehensive win over Ireland, scooping the Player of the Match award yet again, and impressed in a losing cause in the defeat to UAE, taking another three-wicket haul and hitting a quick-fire 34 from 26 deliveries, taking his six count for the tournament to 14 with an almighty blow which landed on the roof of Harare Sports Club. 

Video cwc19 22 Mar 18
CWCQ POTD - Raza hits a six onto the roof!

For now the disappointment at missing out on a World Cup spot will outweigh the satisfaction at being named the outstanding individual at the tournament. But Raza can look back with immense pride on his personal contributions that thrilled the home crowd in Zimbabwe. 

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