Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath has been named the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year following a breakout 2022.
The South Australian, who made her T20I debut as an injury replacement in October 2021, was unveiled as the award’s recipient on Wednesday evening, beating out Indian opener Smriti Mandhana, Pakistan all-rounder Nida Dar and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine for the accolade.
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McGrath scored 435 runs at 62.14 in 16 T20I matches last year, including a career-best 91 not out against England during Australia’s undefeated Ashes campaign. Her strike rate of 145.00 was the second-highest among cricketers with at least 10 T20I innings last year, bettered only by Indian wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh.
In December, McGrath climbed to No. 1 on the ICC Women’s T20I batting rankings, leapfrogging Australian teammate Beth Mooney.
The 27-year-old also claimed 13 wickets at 12.84 in 2022, including career-best figures of 3-13 from four overs against Barbados during the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
“It’s an absolute honour,” McGrath said.
“I’m pretty fortunate to play in the team that I do, and I’m lucky to play with and against some of the best in the world.
“Thank you to all my friends, family and teammates. This one’s pretty special.”
McGrath became Australia’s eighth women’s T20I captain in December, temporarily replacing the injured Alyssa Healy as skipper during the recent five-match tour of India.
The Adelaide Strikers captain was Australia’s second-leading run-scorer during the triumphant Commonwealth Games campaign, with 125 runs in five matches at 42.66 and a strike rate of 148.83.
“If I look back 18 months ago, I was just trying to cement a spot in the 11 … now being a part of that team and contributing to some success is probably something that I’ll look back on a little bit later,” McGrath told foxsports.com.au last month.
“I’m just loving playing T20 cricket. I’ve only been doing it for just over a year, so every time I go out there and bat, it’s just enjoying playing in an Aussie shirt and trying to win games of cricket for my country.”
Earlier this week, McGrath was named in the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year alongside Australian teammates Ash Gardner and Mooney, a nominee for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.
Australian bowler Darcie Brown narrowly missed out on the ICC women‘s emerging Player of the Year, which went to talented Indian seamer Renuka Singh.
Meanwhile, Indian batter sensation Suryakumar Yadav took the Men’s T20I Player of the Year following an extraordinary 12 months in the 20-over format.