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Rahane, Hazelwood, Yadav and others win ESPNcricinfo Awards 2020

Shreoshree Chakrabarty January 22, 2021
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In the Melbourne Test of the 2020-21 series against Australia, Ajinkya Rahane hit 112, helping India to win. For the best Test batting performance of 2020, he won the ESPNcricnfo Award. And in the previous match in Adelaide, for Josh Hazlewood’s performance of 5 for 8 against India, where the visitors were bowled out for their lowest score ever, 36, he won Test bowling award.

Glenn Maxwell won the men’s ODI batting award for his 90-ball 108. This, in five years, handed England their first bilateral ODI series defeat. Before this, Maxwell had won the T20I batting performance award for 2018 and 2019 and this is the third year in a row for him winning an ESPNcricinfo award.

Winning in the ODI bowling category, Blessing Muzarabani of Zimbabwe, for his first five-for, which helped his team tie an ODI against Pakistan, after which he took a further two wickets in the Super Over.

The winner of the women’s bowling performance award was Poonam Yadav who’s stellar 4 for 19 took India to a 17-run win over Australia in the opening match of the Women’s T20 World Cup. And the winner of the batting award, Alyssa Healy, paid India back, with a 39-ball 75 that blasted Australia to a steep total, and the tournament title.

For the 86 not out against South Africa, Jonny Bairstow, won men’s T20I batting and bowling awards and Lockie Ferguson, who ending with a career-best 5 for 21, blew West Indies away with sheer pace in Auckland.

Kyle Jamieson, another New Zealander, took the award for debutant of the year. His 31 international wickets from 16 matches in 2020 included 25 in Tests at 14.44 – a showing that was instrumental in New Zealand rising to No. 1 in the ICC rankings.

“The onset of the pandemic changed international cricket, with fewer matches and stricter regulations,” said Sambit Bal, editor-in-chief, ESPNcricinfo and ESPN South Asia. “Schedules became tighter, players had shorter breaks between demanding matches and faced higher possibilities of falling ill, while having to also be available for quicker rotation of schedules. However, cricketers rose to the challenge. This year’s winners of the ESPNcricinfo Awards have shown the utmost grit and exemplify the spirit of cricket with their resistance. We congratulate the winners and nominees and wish them an even stronger 2021.”

The jury of ESPNcricinfo’s senior writers and editors selected the winners across nine categories.

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