The Indian Premier League (IPL) is considered the toughest domestic T20 cricket league in the world because the best cricketers on the planet clash against each other during it. The 13th edition of the tournament is currently underway in the United Arab Emirates, with the season approaching its business end.
Three countries have hosted the IPL so far
IPL 2020 has been different from the previous editions because the matches are taking place behind closed doors. Also, the UAE is hosting the entire tourney for the first time. Back in 2014, the Gulf nation hosted the first phase of the IPL. Apart from India and the UAE, South Africa has also played host to this grand T20 event.
IPL 2009 had taken place in the rainbow nation due to general elections being held in India at the same time. Not every player can perform well both in sub-continental conditions and the pace-friendly pitches of South Africa, but here are the three Indian cricketers who have won an IPL Man of-the-Match award in the three countries that have hosted the competition.
3. Manish Pandey
The latest name to join this elite list is the Sunrisers Hyderabad star, Manish Pandey. The right-handed batsman won his fifth MoM award in the IPL last night against the Rajasthan Royals. Pandey played a brilliant inning of 83 runs in Dubai to power his team to a comfortable victory.
Eleven years ago, Manish Pandey had won a couple of Player-of-the-Match awards in South Africa. Playing against the Deccan Chargers in 2009, Pandey became the first Indian centurion in IPL history by scoring an unbeaten 114* for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Two nights later, he scored a match-winning 48 against the Chennai Super Kings that helped him secure his second MoM trophy.
Manish Pandey played for the Pune Warriors from 2011 to 2013. In a match against the Kolkata Knight Riders during the 2013 season, his 66 runs helped PWI win the contest at Ranchi. The Indian batsman won the Man-of-the-Match award in the IPL 2014 final for his 94 runs that aided KKR to win their second IPL title.
2. Rohit Sharma
The Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has won 18 Man-of-the-Match awards in IPL. Out of 18, fifteen MoM have come in India.
He had won his first MoM award against the Mumbai Indians in 2009. Rohit had scored 38 runs and picked up a hat-trick to guide the Deccan Chargers to a 19-run win. Later in that season, he secured another award for his all-round brilliance versus the Kolkata Knight Riders.
In IPL 2020, Rohit Sharma became the second cricketer to complete this unique treble. His 80-run knock against KKR at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium helped the Mumbai Indians captain win his first IPL MoM award in the UAE.
1. Suresh Raina
Nick-named Mr. IPL, Suresh Raina had achieved the record of winning an IPL MoM award in three countries during the 2014 season itself. Raina has won 14 suchrophies in his IPL career, and 12 of them came in India.
In the 2009 season, Raina's 98-run inning against the Rajasthan Royals earned him the award at Buffalo Park. Five years later, his match-winning half-century versus the Delhi Capitals gave Raina his maiden MoM award in the UAE.
Unfortunately, Suresh Raina is not playing in IPL 2020 because of personal reasons.Published 23 Oct 2020, 16:48 IST