(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga along with Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan, Mitchell Marsh of Australia and Jos Buttler of England has been shortlisted for the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Year 2021 award.
According to the International Cricket Council (ICC) media statement, 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.