Raza up for top award

Brandon Moyo

HAVING been flying the Zimbabwean flag high wherever he goes, Chevrons star all-rounder Sikandar Raza has been nominated for yet another top international award.

Raza has been nominated for the Athlete of the Year in the 2023 African Entertainment Awards USA. 

He is the only cricketer and Zimbabwean up for the top accolade.

Raza, who has been the mainstay of the Zimbabwe cricket team is nominated alongside some big names in African sport, who include Sadio Mane, Liverpool star striker Mohamed Salah, Riyadh Mahrez, Victor Osimhen, Thomas Partey and Andile Dlamini.

The nomination is well-deserved recognition for Raza and comes at a time when the Zimbabwean ace, has been in the form of his life, both at international and franchise level, where he has been scoring runs and taking wickets seemingly for fun.

 In August last year, the Chevrons star became the first Zimbabwean to win a prestigious award after his impressive run. Raza was up against England test captain, Ben Stokes, and New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner for the top honours for the Cricketer of the Month Award.

The remarkable Raza was also nominated for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 International as well as One Day International Player of the Year accolades for the previous year. 

The middle order batsman and off-spin bowler proved to be a vital cog in the Zimbabwe national team with bat and ball, helping his side, for the first time, reach the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup which was held in Australia in October, and win their first ever ODI series since 2017.

Having broken records, Raza has also made or created one. With Zimbabwe, disappointingly bowing out of the tournament (T20 World Cup), Raza became the first ever cricketer in history to score 500 runs and take 25 wickets in T20 cricket in a calendar year.

The prestigious awards ceremony is scheduled for November 11 in the USA. 

The awards were first presented in 2015 and celebrate African entertainment and achievements globally. It also aims to unite Africans, and promote a strong self-sufficient Africa capable of driving social change worldwide.

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