Australia opener Usman Khawaja has continued his remarkable recent run by being named the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year for 2023.
Khawaja edged out tough competition from teammate Travis Head, India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and England's Joe Root for the award following a successful year that culminated in Australia claiming their first ICC World Test Championship title.
Usman Khawaja in 2023
1210 runs in 13 matches
The year that was
Khawaja kicked off 2023 in splendid form, carrying forward his momentum from the previous year by notching a career-best score of 195* against South Africa.
The opener shined in the biggest test of his career – the away series against India where he finished as the top run-getter among both teams with 333 runs in four matches, which included a century and two fifties.
Undeterred by a pair of rare failires during the World Test Championship Final, Khawaja rebounded against England in the Ashes, finishing once again as the highest run-getter in the series with 496 runs.
The left-handed star finished the year on a high with three scores of 40+ against Pakistan.
With a grand total of 1210 runs, Khawaja stood alone as the sole player to breach the four-figure mark for Test runs in the challenging and rewarding year of 2023.
Khawaja had two big tons against South Africa (195*) and India (180) but saved his best for arch-rivals England in the Ashes.
After a surprise declaration at 393/8 in the first innings of the opening Test, England managed to put pressure on Australia with early wickets.
Undeterred, Khawaja stitched crucial partnerships with Travis Head, Cameron Green and Alex Carey enroute to his century that helped Australia get close to England’s total.
Khawaja once again proved to be a thorn in England’s side after they set a target of 281 for the win. The southpaw once again batted deep with grit and determination for his 65 off 197 balls.
Although his departure left Australia at 209/7, Pat Cummins delivered a special performance – this time with the bat – to take Australia to a memorable Ashes victory.
For his century and fifty in the second innings, Khawaja took home the Player of the Match.