UAE’s Esha Oza declared ICC’s Associate Cricketer of the Year 2022

On the 25th of January, the 3rd day of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Awards reveal, United Arab Emirates (UAE’s) Esha Oza was announced as the Women’s Associate Player of the Year (2022). On the back off a sensational year with both bat and ball, Esha’s efforts received absolute recognition in felicitation of the ‘Women’s Associate Player of the Year’ award.

 

Esha Oza
Esha Oza

 

Batting in the shortest, Twenty20 International (T20I) format is no less than an art, and mastering it with consistency and at an excellent strike rate is just icing on the cake. Esha Oza, the 24-year-old talented UAE opener in 23 innings got to 675 T20I runs at an average of 35.52, a strike rate of 134.19, and with a couple of half-centuries and as many centuries, notched her career best of 158*.

The 24-year-old with the ball chipped in with valuable 15 T20I wickets off 16 innings at an average of 15.40, a strike rate of 19.0 an economy rate of 4.84, and has registered the best figures of 3/5.

Esha’s first few outings of the year had come during the GCC Women’s Twenty20 Championship Cup in Oman where she scored 28*(14) in the opener and followed it with scores of 67(31), her career best of 158*(71) against Bahrain. She then featured in UAE’s home 4-match series against Hong Kong and registered scores of 11(9), 53(51), 27(25), and 28*(24) to play her part in the UAE’s 4-0 series sweep.

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Women’s T20 Championship was up next and after scores of 29* off 14 and 26(31), Esha went on to power a magnificent 67-ball 115 against Qatar. The knock helped her surpass a few big names in world cricket; Charlotte Edwards, Sarah Taylor, Stafanie Taylor, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Mithali Raj and many more to top the list of fastest to 1000 T20I runs having got there in just 31 innings.

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Post her 115 against Qatar, Esha’s graph saw a dip with her failing to get going but she soon managed to get her touch back with scores of 36, 13, and 37 during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier. The 8th edition of the Women’s Asia Cup then followed and playing on Bangladesh tracks, Esha again struggled to get going and failed to finish the year on the high she’d started and looked to extend.

On receiving the award, Esha had the following to say, “When I heard the news, it was quite a surprise. It wasn’t something I was expecting at all. The feeling, at first, I couldn’t believe my ears at first. It was just something I never expected. To be the ICC Associate cricketer of the year is something of great pride and honour, I would say. It wasn’t something I had expected would happen.

“There are many people that I can thank, especially my family, they’ve always supported me. No matter if I do well or if I don’t, they have always backed me. They want me to do well for my country. Even my dad, he comes with me day in and day out when he’s done with work, he gives me throw-downs. He is done with work maybe by 6-7 pm and we go to the ground, we go for throwdowns and work a bit on my batting.

“(Also thank) Of course a lot of coaches I have worked with throughout these years and I would like to thank each one of them because cricket is not a game you learn within a few months, so you work with a lot of people, and I would like to thank each and every one.

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“Teammates, nothing is possible without them. Getting this award, each small part of it belongs to each and every teammate and coach. Because without them you cannot score a hundred if you don’t have someone running with you. You can’t take a wicket if they are not there on the field to take a catch. So each and every teammate this (award) belongs to everyone, not just me.”

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