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The Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year in 2022 was a revelation, lighting up scoreboards with the bat and offering solid support with her off-spin. Here, we examine the performances that won the prize.
United Arab Emirates Esha Oza 675 T20
I has a 35.52 average, a strike rate of 134.19, two centuries, and two fifty-year runs.
15 T20I wickets at 15.40, an economy of 4.84
The year gone by
While Esha Oza has had a commendable start to her international career since making her debut in 2018, the all-round batting batswoman made 2022 her own with a long record of impressive T20I outings.
Only 463 T20I runs at an average of 23.15 and a strike rate of 100.43 have been made by Oza prior to 2022. The right-hander upped his game in 2022, scoring nearly 700 runs in just 23 innings. Unbelievably, Oza accomplished this despite playing 16 different opponents throughout the course of the year in at least four contests and a bilateral series versus Hong Kong.
ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year 2022 – Esha Oza | ICC Awards
At the Gulf Cricket Council T20 Championship Cup, Oza began the year with scores of 28* (14) and 67 (31) against Kuwait and Oman, respectively. However, those numbers pale in comparison to her mesmerising 158* (71) against Bahrain the following game.
It took her 12 innings of the year before she was finally dismissed for under 10, and within that span, she scored another hundred, this time 115 (67) against Qatar in the ACC Women’s T20 Championship, a match they eventually won.
Oza was a standout during the T20 World Cup Qualifier on home soil, contributing significantly to Emirati victories over the USA and Zimbabwe. At one point, Oza held the record for the fastest (by innings) to accumulate 1000 T20I runs before Tanzania’s Fatima Kibasu took it over in the latter part of last year.
The all-rounder will undoubtedly be an important contributor as her team’s dominance in the Associate game grows.
Esha Oza accepts her award | ICC Awards 2022
It’s a scorecard that warrants another look. At the Gulf Cricket Council T20 Championship Cup, UAE defeated Bahrain with a score of 253-1, and Oza finished the game unbeaten on 158 not out despite only facing 71 deliveries.
The right-hander struck a boundary off the opening ball of the innings to get things started, and he added three more to get the total to 40/0 after four overs. She then hit a six to break the rope in the opening Powerplay over and kept moving forward as the score climbed above 10 per over. Despite losing her partner Kavisha Egodage (67 off 45) in the conclusion of the innings, she persevered and scored 33 runs across the finish line.
Oza won Player of the Match for her efforts, but the knock was painfully short of Deepika Rasangika’s record for women’s T20Is of 161*, which the Bahraini batswoman scored just four days earlier at the same competition.