Aussie stars in line for ICC awards as Cummins’ side ends India’s stranglehold on rankings by reclaiming top spot


Four of Australia’s World Cup-winning stars – Pat Cummins, Travis Head, Beth Mooney and Ash Gardner – are in line to scoop cricket’s biggest individual honours after being shortlisted for the ICC Cricketer of the Year awards.

All-conquering captain Cummins and World Cup final batting hero Head are on the four-player shortlist to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy as ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, in competition with Indian stars Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli.

Star batter Mooney and allrounder Gardner are in contention for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy as ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year after helping Australia win the T20 World Cup in South Africa.

The pair are in competition with England allrounder Nat Sciver-Brunt and Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu for the top prize.

Head is also on the four-man list for ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year alongside his Australia teammate Usman Khawaja, with India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and England’s Joe Root also in the frame.

Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Babar Azam. (Photo by Morgan Hancock – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

The nominations complete a fine week for Australian players with Gardner having already been shortlisted as women’s ODI player of the year, Ellyse Perry as women’s T20 player of the year and Phoebe Litchfield up for the emerging player accolade.

Head’s astonishing breakthrough year in 2023 should be rewarded after a series of dazzling performances.

The 30-year-old Adelaide star began with a match-winning ton against India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval and his year only improved with a fine Ashes series and another player-of-the-match hundred, again against India, in the 50-over World Cup final.

The allrounder amassed almost 1700 runs across all formats during the year and also claimed important wickets with the ball.

Yet Cummins could pip him to the prize, after his own excellent bowling, key runs with the bat and leadership qualities resulted in him overseeing two global triumphs in the Test and 50-overs arenas, while also ensuring the Ashes stayed in Australian hands after the thrilling drawn series.

Beth Mooney. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

A former ICC Test Cricketer of the Year back in 2019, Cummins took 59 wickets in Tests and ODIs during the year and has, like Head, a good shot at being the first Australian to win the Sobers Trophy since Steve Smith in 2015.

Gardner will be a forerunner for the women’s prize, hoping to emulate Perry the last Australian winner back in 2019 and 2017.

Gardner took more wickets than any other woman in the international arena in 2023, 58 in total in Tests, ODIs and T20Is.

She was also player of the tournament in the women’s T20 World Cup and became the first player to win back-to-back player of the month accolades in June and July.

The 29-year-old Mooney was top women’s run scorer across all formats, registering 1040 runs in 2023, including a match-winning unbeaten 74 in the T20 final win over hosts South Africa.

World champions Australia have again become the No.1 men’s team in Test cricket after India lost their place in the latest ICC rankings list.

Cummins’ side had briefly held the top spot after beating India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval in June but Rohit Sharma’s men had regained their place at the summit of the five-day game following the drawn Ashes series.

Both teams had a rating of 118 but Australia, who’ve taken the current home series against Pakistan by winning the first two Tests, have slid ahead by one point, 118-117, following the Indians’ drawn two-Test series in South Africa.

It spells the end of a remarkable triple reign for Sharma’s team, who last September became only the second international men’s outfit to be No.1 in all three formats – Tests, ODIs and T20Is.

India, rated at 121, are still No.1 in the ODI list, with Australia second (117) despite Cummins’ team having dethroned the hosts as world champions in November.

The Aussies are only fifth in the T20 rankings (250 points) with India top on 265 ahead of world champions England (256).

In the women’s rankings, Australia remain well ahead of their pursuers in both the ODI and T20I categories.

England, who trail 130-165 in the ODI rankings and 282-297 in T20Is, are their nearest chasers. 

Tahlia McGrath remains the No.1 T20 batter in the world, ahead of her teammate Beth Mooney, while England spinner Sophie Ecclestone is the best bowler in both the white-ball categories with her teammate Nat Sciver-Brunt the leading ODI batter.

The New Year has also begun with New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Pakistan’s Babar Azam and India’s Suryakumar Yadav as the No.1 batters in men’s Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively.

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin leads the Test bowling rankings, with South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj heading the ODIs’ list and England’s Adil Rashid on top in T20Is.

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