Not Ashwin or Root! This Australian Player Becomes ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year 2023

Usman Khawaja beats Ravichandran Ashwin to win ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year 2023

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Australian opening batter Usman Khawaja has been awarded the prestigious title of ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year for his stellar performances in the longest format throughout 2023. Khawaja’s remarkable achievements on the field have brought him this accolade, marking a significant milestone in his cricketing career.


Khawaja’s journey to this remarkable achievement was not without its share of challenges. The Australian batsman found himself in a prolonged dispute with the International Cricket Council (ICC) over his desire to display human rights symbols on his bat and shoes during Australia’s previous 3-match Test series against Pakistan. The ICC initially denied his request, citing rules against conveying personal, political, or religious messages through equipment or clothing.

Undeterred, Khawaja, with the support of his captain Pat Cummins and other teammates, took a principled stand. He sought to display a symbol of a Dove and Olive tree branch on his shoes as a sign of solidarity with human rights and against war killings globally. Despite the initial denial by the ICC, Khawaja eventually received approval to display the symbol in the domestic circuit during the Big Bash League 2023/24.

The ICC and Usman Khwaja were navigating a tense relationship during this period. However, Khawaja’s recognition as the Test Cricketer of the Year has cast aside any doubts related to the matter. This acknowledgment not only vindicates Khawaja’s cricketing prowess but also emphasizes the relevance of the ICC awards being based entirely on cricketing merits.

Khawaja faced stiff competition from other illustrious names, including India’s all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, England’s top-order batter Joe Root, and his Australian teammate Travis Head. The ICC, after careful evaluation, deemed Usman Khawaja to have had an overall superior season compared to his counterparts.

Usman Khawaja’s statistical brilliance in 2023 underscores his dominance in Test cricket. He scored a staggering total of 1210 runs in 13 Tests during the year, maintaining an exceptional average of 52.60. His highest score of 195 not out against South Africa showcased his ability to play match-defining innings.

The year began on a high note for Khawaja with a fantastic performance in the Border-Gavaskar trophy in India. Scoring 333 runs across the 4-match Test series, he ended up as the highest run-getter in a series that concluded in a 2-2 draw. Khawaja’s consistent contributions included three centuries and six half-centuries, playing a pivotal role in Australia’s success in the 2021-2023 World Test Championship cycle.


Usman Khawaja’s recognition as the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year is a testament to his exceptional skill, determination, and resilience on the cricket field. Beyond the statistical achievements, this award symbolizes a triumph over challenges and a validation of Khawaja’s impact in the realm of Test cricket. As Khawaja stands tall among the cricketing elite, the cricketing fraternity eagerly anticipates more stellar performances from this Australian maestro in the years ahead.


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