Nominees for Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year 2023 revealed

Four players stood out with their exceptional performances in 2023, and have been nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. 

Shortlist for Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year 2023

Let’s take a look at their achievements.

Travis Head (Australia)

1698 runs in 31 matches

The year that was

A member of the ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year 2022, Travis Head soared even higher in 2023. It wasn’t a year without challenges, for the Southpaw had to contend with a fractured hand that threatened to rule him out of the World Cup.

Not only did the player stage a comeback during the tournament but also rendered crucial performances at the pointed end of the World Cup. Both his ODI tons in 2023 came in the global event, and he was the Player of the Match for his inimitable performances in the semi-final and the final.

Head lights up World Cup with blazing ton on return for Australia | CWC23

Batting highlights as Travis Head clubbed a quickfire century in his first match for Australia at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 against New Zealand

329 out of his 570 ODI runs came in the World Cup. His strike rate during the tournament was an impressive 127.51, only slightly below his run in the year (133.17).

Head also enjoyed tremendous success in other formats of the game. This included a prolific Test run, during which he helped Australia lift the ICC World Test Championship 2023 trophy. In the WTC final against India, Head was the top-scorer with a 163 in the first innings. His knock helped Australia to a dominant score, and an eventual 209 run win.

Highlights: Travis Head deflates India with brilliant century | WTC23 Final

The highlights of Travis Head's brilliant century on day one of the ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final between Australia and India

His 919 Test runs in 2023 came at an average close to 42.

These emphatic performances make him one of the two Australian players in the run to win the first Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for their nation since 2015.

Memorable Performance

Head’s best came in the most important cricket game of the year, the World Cup final. Having already guided Australia into the fixture with a 62 from 48 and 2/21 against the Proteas in the semi-finals, Head continued to weave his magic against India.

An amazing World Cup winning ton | CWC23

Travis Head won the Player of the Match award for his brilliant century in Ahmedabad.

He first struck in the 10th over, when he took a splendid catch running back to send back the aggressive Rohit Sharma. This stilted the India innings after a quick start, and ensured that the Australia bowlers took control.

Then during the chase, he helped his team overcome early hiccups with a destructive knock. His 137 from 120 on a slow wicket helped Australia to their sixth World Cup triumph.

Vote for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year 2023

Virat Kohli (India)

2048 runs in 35 matches

The year that was

After returning to form in style with his exploits in the second half of 2022, Virat Kohli continued churning out runs across the Test and ODI formats.

In Test cricket, he hit an important 44 against Australia in the second Test of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Series in trying circumstances in Delhi, which helped India post a solid total in the first innings of a game they went on to win. In the final game of the same series, Kohli hit a majestic 186 at the Narendra Modi Stadium. This was his first Test ton since 2019. It didn’t take him much time to add to that number, hitting a 121 against the West Indies.

Best of Virat Kohli | CWC23

Most runs in a single edition of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.

It was in the ODI format that the batter shined though, smashing several records. He hit six ODI hundreds, finishing with 50 tons in the format. This helped him become the player with the most ODI hundreds, overtaking India legend Sachin Tendulkar in the process. 

His stupendous run in the World Cup, helped India reach the finals. The batter hit 765 runs, the most by any player in any single edition of the World Cup. 

If he’s successful, this will be Kohli’s third Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, the most for any player. 

Memorable performance

Kohli’s very best came on the momentous occasion of the World Cup semi-final. Playing at the Wankhede, the home ground of his idol Tendulkar, who was also present at the venue, Kohli hit his 50th ODI hundred.

Kohli overtakes Tendulkar landmark | CWC23

Virat Kohli scored his 50th ODI century against New Zealand at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.

A knock of 117 from 113, inclusive of nine fours and two sixes, helped India to 397/4. During the innings, Kohli breached Tendulkar’s world record for most ODI hundreds and also became the player with the most runs in a single edition of the World Cup. The hosts eventually won the game by 70 runs.

Despite missing out on a World Cup win at home, Kohli had a tournament to remember, performing with aplomb across conditions.

Vote for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year 2023

Ravindra Jadeja (India)

613 runs and 66 wickets in 35 matches

The year that was

A knee injury in the 2022 Asia Cup forced Ravindra Jadeja to miss India’s initial cricketing engagements of 2023. However, the left-arm spinners returned in style. He picked 22 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and played an important role in India winning the series.

Bizarre dismissal sees Jadeja end Green's gutsy knock | WTC23 Final

Ravindra Jadeja picked up his third wicket as Cameron Green was bowled for 25.

It was a brilliant year in red-ball cricket for Jadeja. He chipped in with crucial contributions with the bat. These included a resilient 70 in the first Test against Australia Nagpur that helped India to a massive lead, an attacking 48 in adverse circumstances in the WTC Final at The Oval, and a couple of feisty knocks in the West Indies. With the ball, he formed a valuable partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin, excelling across conditions. He picked four wickets in the WTC final, being especially effective in the second innings.

With 31 ODI wickets, Jadeja shined in white-ball cricket too. He picked 16 wickets at 24.87 in the World Cup, with a career-best performance of 5/33 against South Africa at the Eden Gardens.

Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year nominees named

Memorable performances

Jadeja returned with a Player of the Match-winning performance in Nagpur but went one better in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar series in Delhi.

He picked 3/68 in the first innings to restrict Australia to 263 on a wicket that played better than Nagpur. He scored a crucial 26 to stabilise the India innings after early losses. While both teams were evenly placed at the end of the first innings, Jadeja’s career-best 7/42 demolished the Australian effort in the second dig.

He got the better of Usman Khawaja, Head, Marnus Labuschagne, and Peter Handscomb and ripped through the Australia top and middle order before running through the tail. The tourists were bowled out for 113 and India won the Test comfortably.

Jadeja finished with 10/110, a career-best effort for him in Tests, and won the Player of the Match award in this Test too.

Vote for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year 2023

Pat Cummins (Australia)

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, Cummins’ Australia lifted themselves and garnered 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 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup for a record sixth time.

Fiery fast bowling from Pat Cummins | WTC23 Final

Shardul Thakur had to face the brunt of Pat Cummins' fiery fast bowling.

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 rivetting 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 ten-wicket haul in Test cricket. This helped Australia win the Test series against Pakistan.

Memorable performance

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 all-rounder 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.

Pat Cummins' dominant spell in the World Cup Final | CWC23

Australia's skipper, Pat Cummins, delivered an outstanding performance with figures of 3/34 in his 10-over spell in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 Final against India.

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.

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