Cricket World Cup awards: Best player, best game and best moment – ​​our verdicts | Cricket World Cup 2023

Best player

Mark Ramprakash Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand) was outstanding in the opening game of the tournament and his level hardly dipped. He is a wonderfully talented left-hander, aesthetically pleasing to look at, who hits the ball with elegant power and has a good head on his shoulders. Add to that a few probing left arm rotations and you have a serious talent with a bright future.

Barney Ronay Mohammed Shami (India). Serious impact on a team that is already overrunning the field. Fast to medium line and length is the new rock and roll.

Ali Martin The ICC confirmed that it remains a batsman’s game by choosing Virat Kohli (India). But despite his avalanche of runs, Shami – purveyor of the most precise seaming outside of Savile Row – was probably the standout of the entire tournament.

Virat Kohli on his way to his record-breaking 50th ODI century against New Zealand. Photo: Alex Davidson/ICC/Getty Images

Geoff Lemon Azmatullah Omarzai was an all-rounder who brought about change and transformed Afghanistan from a spin-heavy, batting-light side. Attacked good bowling, scored quickly, kept his composure, often went unbeaten and bowled tough overs with fast swing at times.

Simon Burnton In the past, there has been an average of more than 50 opening goals at World Cups, but never with the strike rate that Rohit Sharma (India) achieved in this tournament. Game after game he set the tone for India in the most forceful manner and under the greatest pressure, giving the rest of his batters the freedom to do all sorts of ridiculous things.

Tanya Aldred Kohli. Exhaled the pressure, although 48 life-size cutouts followed him to Eden Gardens and 49 to Bengaluru. He saw off the Kiwis in the semi-finals, managed another 50 points in the final, before finally being undone by tournament captain Pat Cummins.

Best hit

MISTER There were plenty of good games, but Afghanistan v Australia was certainly the most eventful, with the underdogs putting themselves in a position where they would probably win comfortably 99 times out of 100, only for Glenn Maxwell to secure victory in the tournament’s innings from theirs Handle.

BR The The semi-final between Australia and South Africa, which wasn’t all that close in the end and didn’t offer any fireworks, but did showcase the screen-gnawing beauty of a low-scoring 50-over knockout game.

AM Channeling his inner Undertaker in Mumbai, Maxwell fought his way out of a state of tense rigor mortis to bring Afghanistan to ground in their best-ever ODI innings. Australia, which had not always been convincing, suddenly dared to dream.

Glenn Maxwell hits a shot against Afghanistan
Glenn Maxwell had the innings of his life against a spirited Afghanistan side. Photo: Rajanish Kakade/AP

GL Australia vs New Zealand. A run-fest but worth it for the ferocity of David Warner and Travis Head in beating New Zealand’s opening bowlers and the courage and class of Ravindra and James Neesham in the chase.

SB South Africa versus Pakistan was the first real thriller of the tournament. The former was chasing 271 with one wicket to spare after Tabraiz Shamsi, who went on to score the winning runs, somehow survived an extraordinarily close LBW decision with eight runs still needed.

TA South Africa vs Pakistan: a slow-paced thriller. There were ups and downs, Shaheen Shah Afridi at full pace, brilliance from Mohammad Wasim and South Africa with nine setbacks, 11 needed.

Best moment

MISTER Kohli hit his 50th ODI ton in the semi-final against New Zealand and then bowed to the great Sachin Tendulkar, who ended his career with 49. I was lucky enough to witness and play against Tendulkar, to follow his great career and to see Kohli emulate and then surpass it felt like a moment in history.

BR Afghanistan beats the world champions. A significant event in cricket history and a moment of pure joy for players and fans.

Rashid Khan celebrates Liam Livingstone's sacking
Rashid Khan celebrates Liam Livingstone’s dismissal as Afghanistan beat England. Photo: Darrian Traynor/ICC/Getty Images

AM The funniest part was definitely Angelo Mathews’ time out. Shakib Al Hasan didn’t blink, the old “Spirit of Cricket” debate broke out, officials defended their timing and Mathews posted evidence to the contrary on social media. What a silly sport.

GL Maxwell’s salmon impression, lying flat on his back with cramps in Mumbai, before hitting another 60 or so runs in the most astonishing double century the world will ever see. Athletic genius.

SB Some Indian players seemed at times to focus a little too much on individual milestones, which isn’t actually the case, but hitting a six to complete the first century of the tournament and win a game, like Kohli did in Pune what he did against Bangladesh is pretty cool.

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TA David Miller reached his hundred in the semi-final with a hammered six against Cummins, holding South Africa’s innings together when all seemed lost (which it ultimately was).

The World Championship for the over 50s is likely to…

MISTER keep going. Given the lack of bilateral 50-over series, the view seems to be that we can simply forego these games and prepare for occasional tournaments. It’s clear that T20s will be the dominant format, but with Test cricket fading from the top 3 nations, I think ODIs will remain at number 2 and the prestige of the World Cup will remain.

BR … Be fondly remembered in books.

AM live, provided the transmission contracts are concluded by 2031. And it should. With the global landscape splitting in two directions, it provides a stage for the best red and white ball players to come together and compete.

Fans watch the World Cup final on a big screen in Prayagraj.
Fans watch the World Cup final on a big screen in Prayagraj. Photo: Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images

GL For now, carry on as India will want to get another victory before being mothballed for good. The frustration of this loss will be deep and long-lasting for everyone.

SB We need teams that take it seriously. It’s a great format. But unless bilateral ODI series are played just before the World Cup there is little point and I fear the 50-over game will quietly wither in the shadows as attention returns to the T20 games. Poorly prepared teams lead to chaotic and unpredictable tournaments (which can be quite fun in a dirty way).

TA continues to vacillate, despite his strained status between T20s and Test matches – although his format needs to change. The round robin may be aesthetically pleasing, but it takes an endless amount of time.

In 2027, England will…

MISTER … I don’t have a world champion on the team and I have a completely different team. I don’t expect them to be favorites: it’s not that they don’t have good players, but the attitude at the highest level in this country towards the 50-over game has proven to be completely destroyed.

BR… Step into a bold new future under captain Moeen Ali, led by Jonny Bairstow and Wayne Larkins at the helm, and reinvent the game once again under super-cool head coach Salt Bae.

AM … Enjoy the golf courses in Southern Africa; and probably the truer pitches between rounds. However, given the likely turnover of players (and the captain) as well as the reduction in ODIs, putting together a team of title contenders by then will not be easy.

GL… Revolutionize world cricket with cybernetic AI implants before Australia still wins the World Cup with Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark and Doug Bollinger.

SB… They have a decent squad and are due to play 16 ODIs between July 2026 and January 2027, including three away to World Cup co-hosts South Africa (where they will also play three Tests and three T20s this winter), and therefore appear to be in danger to show up in decent condition. It’s hope that kills you, etc.

TA… Most of those who received full central contracts this year will have gone into soft retirement. Zak Crawley will lead them to victory in the semi-finals, where they will be heavily defeated by Pakistan, the eventual winners.

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