Dubai, Jan 25: England women's dynamic all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt claimed the coveted Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year for the second consecutive year. Her extraordinary form throughout the year, highlighted by remarkable knocks in the 2023 Women's Ashes against Australia, solidified her status as a cricketing force to be reckoned with.
Sciver-Brunt faced stiff competition for the award from notable contenders like Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu, along with the Australian duo of Ash Gardner and Beth Mooney. However, Sciver-Brunt's stellar performances and all-round excellence set her apart.
The statistics from Sciver-Brunt's remarkable 2023 campaign speak volumes—she amassed 894 runs and claimed nine wickets in 18 games, showcasing her impact with both bat and ball. In ODI cricket, Sciver-Brunt continued her dominance, scoring 393 runs in just six games at an astounding average of 131, including three centuries.
Her total of eight ODI tons placed her just one behind England's national record, jointly held by Tammy Beaumont and Charlotte Edwards.
The ICC Women's T20 World Cup witnessed Sciver-Brunt's dynamic prowess, as she emerged as England's highest run-scorer with 216 runs at a remarkable strike rate of 141.17. Her contributions extended to the Test arena, where she displayed grit by hitting two fifties against Australia and India.
A pivotal moment in Sciver-Brunt's stellar year unfolded during the Ashes series against Australia. In a crucial ODI, she delivered one of her best performances, guiding England to a riveting finale. Despite challenging circumstances, Sciver-Brunt's fighting century (111*) kept England in the game, showcasing her ability to rise to the occasion.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the cricketing spectrum, Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu emerged as the ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2023. Her exceptional year, characterized by stellar performances with the bat and influential leadership, propelled Sri Lanka to significant victories, including a historic bilateral series win over New Zealand.
In eight ODI matches, Athapaththu scored 415 runs and claimed one wicket.
Athapaththu's impact was evident from the start, leading her team to a series win over Bangladesh and later orchestrating a historic triumph against New Zealand in a thrilling series where she played crucial innings, including centuries, to secure Sri Lanka's first-ever bilateral series win against the White Ferns.
Her remarkable unbeaten 140 against New Zealand in a series decider showcased her aggressive approach and resilience, steering Sri Lanka to victory from a precarious situation. Athapaththu's leadership, combined with her exceptional skills, made her a deserving recipient of the ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year. (IANS)