Hayley Matthews wins ICC T20 Player Of The Year title

Hayley Matthews of West Indies Women teamplays a shot during the first one-day international cricket match against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.
Hayley Matthews of West Indies plays a shot during the first one-day international cricket match against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.
Associated Press/Fareed Khan/File

West Indies Captain, Hayley Matthews, has been voted the International Cricket Council’s Women’s Twenty20 Player of the Year 2023.

The 25-year-old was up against Sri Lankan Chamari Athapaththu, England’s Sophie Ecclestone and Australia’s Ellyse Perry, and was chosen following voting by the ICC Voting Academy and global fans.

Matthews was in dominant form during the year of 2023, plundering an historical 700 runs with a strike-rate of 132.33, at an average of 63 from 14 matches, and scoring one hundred and four fifties. The first time a women’s player had reached this figure in a single calendar year.

The highlight innings of the year was the 132 runs she scored in the historical 213 run-chase against Australia in the second T20 International (T201) at the North Sydney Oval, Australia, this followed 99 not out in the first match. In the third T20I she struck 79 to accumulate 310 runs, the most by any player in a women’s T20I bilateral series.

She took on the opposition’s bowlers with a mix of traditional and innovative shots. Her ability to anchor the innings and accelerate when required makes her one of the most feared batters in the T201 circuit.

Bowling-wise, Matthews was equally impressive. Her right-arm off-spin deliveries, characterised by their flight and turn, baffled many top-order batters across various teams. She picked up 19 wickets with an economy rate of 6.84.

“I’ve been pretty blessed to have a good year wearing the West Indies colours, performing really well and helping the team,” Matthews said.

“This is one of those awards that I’m going to cherish forever and knowing that it can make our West Indies fans home in the Caribbean and around the world happy is what motivates me to go out there and do my best.”

She added, “It’s nice to see all the hard work paying off. It’s been a long two or three years to get to this point, it’s been re- ally nice to have a good time with the bat and the ball in the last year to help the team as best as I can. I am very grateful for this award and it’s something that growing up I saw my role models achieving so to win one myself definitely means a lot.”

Matthews, made her international debut at 16 year old and enjoyed a run of eight consecutive Player-of-the-Match awards, having won two in the T20 World Cup in South Africa last February, and all three in the next two T20 series against Ire- land and Australia.

Matthews became just the second West Indian, after former Captain Stafanie Taylor in 2015, to win the prestigious award.

Earlier this week, she was also named in the ICC T201 Team-of-the-Year.

CWI’s Director of Cricket, Miles Bascombe congratulated Matthews on her award saying: “Hayley has been remark- able by any standard and has embodied leadership by example. Beyond her obvious talent, her professionalism and work ethic certainly underpin her performance and should be a source of inspiration to aspiring cricketers in the West Indies and the world over.”