Friday, May 20, 2022

Joe Root’s ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award is truly extraordinary given how poor England have been

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For Joe Root to be recognized as the stand-out Test player in the men’s game for 2021 despite being in an England side that has lost four consecutive Test series in a row is an achievement that shouldn’t be lost on anyone. Historically speaking, the award winners in cricket aren’t selected from teams that are on the losing side but in this instance, the ICC had no other choice but to award Root with this honour after he spent the year flaying the world’s best attacks to the boundary. 

Root’s 1708 runs over the course of 15 matches in 2021 means that he is only the third cricketer in history to pass 1700 runs in a calendar year. Root joins the elite company of Mohammad Yousuf and Sir Vivian Richards who are the only other cricketers to have completed the feat. 

Furthermore, Root becomes only the second Englishman to have won this award after Alastair Cook in 2011. You can all of a sudden begin to understand the enormity of what the Yorkshireman has achieved in what must have been some of the most trying conditions of his professional life. Indeed, as captain of the English Test team, the 31-year-old’s leadership is intensely scrutinized and none more so when England loses, but despite this, Root has carried himself with distinction and ended up registering four hundreds and two double hundreds when those around him were falling apart. 

joe root
via DNA India

Joe Root’s ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award is truly extraordinary given how poor England have been

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It was a year-long performance that has captured the sporting world’s attention after Root was able to overcome unsettling adversity with such style. Indeed, Root’s heroics with the bat in hand has brought a new audience to the game of cricket which has, in turn, seen a spike in viewership and demand. We can see this is the case if we take the figures the ECB released after the conclusion of The Hundred tournament: 16.1 million people tuned in to watch with a peak audience of 2.4 million for the men’s final. In addition to those numbers, the ECB states that up until the beginning of The Hundred, as many as 57 per cent of viewers hadn’t watched any live cricket in that year.

All in all, it has been an unprecedented year of growth for the game and we can see more evidence of this trend with the rise of online cricket betting sites like Bet365 and Parimatch, owing to the creation of many tournaments around the world like the Big Bash League in Australia, the Caribbean Premier League, and the much-loved Indian Premier League. In other words, now there is always cricket to bet on.

With the above in mind, you can clearly see the extraordinary knock-on effect that one player can have when they light up the calendar year as Joe Root did. Indeed, the exposure the game receives when records are broken means everyone connected to the game benefits.

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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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