Proteas batsman Janneman Malan has won the ICC Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year award.
In 2021, Malan scored 715 runs in 17 internationals at an average of 47.66 and a strike rate of 101.85, including two centuries and three fifties.
Even though Malan made his international debut for South Africa in 2019, he couldn’t establish himself as a permanent name in white-ball cricket until one breathtaking knock after another at the top of the order in 2021.
Malan played a total of eight ODIs and nine T20Is in the year, but it was the one-day format where he showed his real potential.
His voyage started with the T20I series in Pakistan, followed by another ODI and T20I series against the same side at home. At the end of those two series, he had already shown the world his ability with two excellent knocks of 70 and 55 in Centurion.
But his moment of fame arrived when he smashed an unbeaten 177, the fourth-highest score by a South African in ODIs, against Ireland in Dublin.
He looked absolutely on song that day and played numerous exquisite shots around the ground. Whether it was a spinner or a pacer, he treated them with equal disdain.
His innings consisted of a total of 16 fours and six massive sixes, which sums up how the bowlers suffered in that match. The 25-year-old also built a terrific 225-run opening stand with Quinton de Kock, who scored a ton in that match as well.
Malan followed that up with another excellent knock of 121 against Sri Lanka in Colombo and thus ended the year on a good note.