Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza triumphs as the MVP of the ILT20 2024, despite team defeat in final


In a superb display of cricketing prowess that underscored his status as a top-tier cricketer globally, Zimbabwe's captain, Sikandar Raza, clinched the coveted Most Valuable Player award at the prestigious International League T20 (ILT20) tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Sikandar Raza wins MVP of the ILT20 2024 in UAE
Image: ESPNCricInfo via ILT20

Despite the Dubai Capitals' 45-run defeat against MI Emirates in the thrilling final of the DP World ILT20 Season 2, Raza's performance shone brightly. 

The bustling Dubai International Stadium witnessed Raza's all-round skills as he contributed a wicket for 27 runs in three overs during the final match.

Upon receiving the tournament's top accolade, an emotional Raza reflected on the journey that led him to this moment. 

"It's a truly proud and humbling experience for me. This journey has been a culmination of sacrifices, hard work, and perseverance. I am immensely grateful to everyone who supported me, especially during my period of illness over the last two years," he said.

Raza, who has built a reputation as a reliable asset for his team, spoke about his role, stating, "I take pride in being the bowler the skipper can rely on for a full quota of four overs in every game. 

"Securing thirteen wickets in the tournament feels like a testament to the dedication and effort put in; there's always room for improvement, and we strive for that."

Raza's exceptional performance in the tournament saw him triumph over renowned players like Trent Boult, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Carlos Brathwaite to earn the MVP title.

Raza's overseas exploits in T20 leagues across the world have been impressive. He has consistently demonstrated his skills in various teams, including the Chittagong Vikings, Montreal Tigers, and Karachi Kings. 

His batting average in T20I is 25.4 with a strike rate of 134.45, and he has taken 58 wickets in T20I with an economy rate of 6.98.

As he departed the UAE in pursuit of his next challenge, Raza took to social media to bid a heartfelt farewell to his Dubai Capitals family. 

He expressed his gratitude to the team and well-wishers for their unwavering support and promised a spirited return in the future:

"Thank you to @Dubai_Capitals for the opportunity this year, and a special thank you to all our supporters for their prayers and encouragement. We gave it our all, and we vow to return even stronger next season. Until we meet again," Raza expressed in a message of appreciation to his fans and team.

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