New Delhi : England all-rounder Nat Sciver’s consistency across all three formats has seen her win the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2022. She becomes the third England player to win the honour after Charlotte Edwards (2008) and Claire Taylor (2009).
The three other nominees for the award were India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana, who had won the award in 2021 and 2018, apart from New Zealand’s leg-spin all-rounder Amelia Kerr and Australia’s left-handed opener Beth Mooney.
In total, Nat, the seam-bowling all-rounder, hit 1346 runs and took 22 wickets in 33 matches across all formats in the year, captaining England for much of her side’s home summer as captain Heather Knight was out due to a hip injury which needed surgery.
Earlier, in the day, she had won ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year award for 2022. “I’ve been really happy with my form this year. “It’s weird to think that the World Cup was this year too. The two centuries in the World Cup were really special, and the Test match innings against South Africa was brilliant too.”
“As cricketers we are perfectionists and often remember the negative things that have happened so it’s hard to remember all the good things but there have been some great memories and highlights,” said Nat after picking up yet another award for her 2022 performances – the England PCA Player of the Year Award.
A remarkable Women’s ODI World Cup campaign saw her score two stunning rearguard centuries in losing battles against Australia in the league stage and final. In England’s first match of the tournament, Sciver scored an unbeaten 109 from 85 balls as they fell 12 runs short of their target of 311.
Then, in the final, Sciver hit a remarkable 148 not out off 121 balls as England again tried to chase a mammoth total of 356. Nat walked in with England in a spot of bother at 38/2 and remained there until the end, unsettling the bowlers with her eye-catchy strokes.
The all-rounder hit 15 fours and a six in her knock that could have led her side to World Cup glory if not for losing partners at the other end. She finished third in the overall run charts for the tournament, behind Alyssa and Rachael Haynes, but recorded a better average than Australia duo.
In total, Nat scored 833 runs in 50-over cricket at an average of nearly 60, and even scalped career-best figures of 4/59 against South Africa. If her exploits during the World Cup weren’t enough, Nat returned from a short break to manage her mental health in December to help England record a 3-0 series sweep over the West Indies in the Caribbean.
During that series she scored knocks of 90 and 85 to unsurprisingly finish as the leading run-scorer for the series with an eye-catching 180 runs at an average of 60. Her Test stats were almost as impressive, as she scored 242 across three innings of England’s two Tests against Australia and South Africa.
A second-innings half-century in Canberra almost saw England claim an historic win over Australia, while an unbeaten 169 against South Africa at Taunton saw her being named as Player-of-the-match.
In 14 T20Is, including in the inaugural Women’s T20 event at Commonwealth Games tournament in Birmingham, Nat netted 271 runs at an average of nearly 27.