Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva is one of the four nominees for the 2021 ICC Men's T20I Player of the Year award.
The others are another all-rounder and two wicket-keeper batters:
Mohammad Rizwan – Pakistan
1326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 73.66 with one century; 24 dismissals.
Mitchell Marsh – Australia
627 runs in 27 matches at 36.88; 8 wickets at 18.37.
Jos Buttler – England
589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 with one century; 13 dismissals
Of Wanindu, the citation says,
Wanindu Hasaranga – Sri Lanka
36 wickets in 20 matches at 11.63; 196 runs with one half-century
The year that was
It was a breakthrough year for Wanindu Hasaranga, who established himself as one of the best spinners in the shortest format while also being a player who could contribute with the bat. A consistent performer throughout the year, Hasaranga's star shone the brightest during the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.
He ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps and also played some handy knocks with the bat, like his 71 against Ireland. He was a constant menace for the opposition as Sri Lanka impressed one and all during the tournament with their young and energetic side.
Still only 24, Hasaranga is expected to become a cornerstone of Sri Lankan cricket, especially in the shortest formats of the game.
In a pressure encounter in Sharjah against South Africa, Hasaranga almost single-handedly helped his side claw back into the contest with his brilliance with the ball. Claiming a memorable hat-trick, he took the big scalps of Aiden Markram (19) and Temba Bavuma (46) before dismissing Dwaine Pretorius to complete his hat-trick.
Hasaranga would end up with figures of 3/20 in his four-over spell, and it was only the power-hitting of David Miller at the death that got the Proteas over the line.
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