5 contenders for the ICC Associate Player of the Year
The ICC first began acknowledging excellent performances on the field with the introduction of its prestigious annual awards in 2004. The list of awards presented at the ICC's ceremony includes the Cricketer of the Year across formats in men's and women's cricket as well as the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for overall excellence.
However, the most unnoticed of these recognitions happens to be that of the ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year Award which is given to the best performer among the Associate nations.
For the 2017 awards, to be given for the period between 21 September 2016 and 21 September 2017, the following are the five contenders:
#1 Rashid Khan, Afghanistan
The most likely to pip the others for the award, Afghanistan's teenage leg-spinner Rashid Khan has earned a reputation for choking the opposition's innings by delivering when it matters the most. His accurate leg-spinners with varying pace, and skillful usage of the googly have given him as many as 43 ODI wickets in 16 matches at an astounding average of 11.05 and a fantastic economy rate of 3.79.
In T20 cricket, Rashid has done equal damage with 23 wickets in 13 games at a measly average of 9.87 and an economy of 4.83, exemplary in the days of slam-bang batting. In fact, his T20 exploits landed him contracts with multiple T20 league teams across the world including the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL.