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Players to watch out for ft. Hope, Raza, Tector and more

Last updated on 18 Jun 2023 | 09:33 AM
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Players to watch out for ft. Hope, Raza, Tector and more

Here are a few names that would make the ICC World Cup Qualifiers a lot more exciting


Harry Tector: The 24-year-old batter has been a vital cog in Ireland's latest success. Making his debut in 2020, Tector has played 30 matches, scoring 1280 runs at a staggering average of 53.3. Among Irish batters who have scored 500+ runs, he is the only one to average above 45.  

In ODIs since 2022, he has scored 769 runs at an even better average of 76.9. Tector has hit four centuries and as many half-centuries in 13 innings in this period. None of the other Ireland batters have had more than three 50+ scores. 

Josh Little: The left-arm seamer had a decent season with Gujarat Titans in the 2023 edition of the IPL. With experience playing with and against high-profile players, Little will look to continue his excellent run in the ODIs.

In ODIs since 2022, he has picked up 15 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 39.2 and an average of 38.6. Only Mark Adair has more wickets than Little for Ireland in this time frame. However, Adair has played two more matches. 


Rohit Paudel: Nepal's run to the Qualifiers has been dreamy. After suffering a setback at the start of 2023, they bounced back with 12 wins in 13 games. The skipper played an essential role in Nepal's journey. 

In ODIs since the last year, Rohit has scored 1023 runs, the most for Nepal in this period. He has scored those runs at an average of 34.1. In the entire CWC League Two, Rohit scored 909 runs, the second-most for Nepal after Aasif Sheikh.

Sandeep Lamichhane: How can one forget about Sandeep? Nepal's highest wicket-taker (104), the fastest-ever bowler to 100 ODI wickets (42 matches), and more. Rohit, with the bat, has led Nepal to this stage. With the ball, it has been Sandeep.

In ODIs since 2022, he has picked up 63 wickets at a staggering strike rate of 24.5 and an average of 17.4. In this period, Sandeep has been the highest wicket-taker in ODIs. 

In the CWC League Two, only Bilal Khan (76) of Oman had more wickets than Sandeep (72). Among bowlers who had 20+ wickets in the tournament, Sandeep's average of 15.9 is the best. 


Scott Edwards: The wicket-keeping batsman of the Netherlands has played across four different batting positions in ODIs since 2022. Interestingly, he has a 50+ score in all four. In this period, the batter has scored 743 runs at a decent average of 41.3. He has hit eight 50+ scores, the most by a Dutch batsman in this time. 

Bas de Leede: The all-rounder has been a part of the team for a long time. Making his international debut for the Netherlands in 2018, he is now a veteran with 54 international matches. 

In ODIs since 2022, Bas has scored 386 runs at an average of 25.7 while picking up eight wickets at an average of 50.6 and a strike rate of 47.3. His batting average might not be alarming. But his 89 against Pakistan in 2022 is a testimony of how good a player he is. Coming into bat as a number four in the third over (2/6) and scoring against Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Mohammad Wasim speaks volumes. 


Aqib Ilyas: In 2019, Oman found a gem in the form of Aqib Ilyas. Batting at number three or four while being a handy bowler is a captain's dream. Ilyas is one among those. 

He did not play a game in 2022 or 2023. However, his overall record in ODIs is sensational. He has 800+ runs at an average of 58 and 20 wickets at 21.3. He has an average difference of 36.7 (batting average-bowling average). 

Bilal Khan: The left-arm pacer has been a class apart for Oman. In his ODI career, he has snaffled 81 wickets at an average of 19.6 and a balls/wicket ratio of 24.2. 

Since 2022, he has been the best Oman bowler by a mile. In 18 innings, he has grabbed 48 wickets, the most. In the same number of innings, Kaleemullah has 23, the second-best bowler for Oman. Evident enough to say he has outsmarted his teammates. 


Michael Leask: In ODIs since 2022, an average of 30.3 batting at number seven or lower in most of the innings and picking up wickets every 23.6 runs shows the importance of Leask. 

Out of the 546 runs scored by Leask in this period, 542 runs have come when he has batted seven or below. Despite that, he is the fifth-highest run scorer for Scotland. With the ball in hand, his 28 wickets are the second-most.

Mark Watt: He can bowl from 21 yards, 22, 23, 24, and even 25 and land it at the same point. That is Watt for you, gentlemen! In ODIs since 2022, Watt has been Scotland's best bowler. 

He is not just Scotland's best, with 41 wickets at an average of 17.4 and a strike rate of 26.6. Among all bowlers who have bagged 25+ wickets in this period, only Ali Khan (14.3) has a better average than Watt. 

Sri Lanka

Pathum Nissanka: Nissanka has been Sri Lanka's torchbearer in the batting department for some time. In ODIs since 2022, he has scored 761 runs at an average of 47.6. His runs are the most for Sri Lanka in this time. In fact, since his ODI debut in 2021, only Charith Asalanka (906) has more runs than him. 

Lahiru Kumara: Apart from being Sri Lanka’s most experienced pacer, he’s also been their most aggressive option. In the last 18 months, he’s taken a wicket every 26 balls, the fastest for any Sri Lankan bowler. Barring the skipper, no current bowler has played in Zimbabwe. This makes his experience all the more invaluable.


Vrittya Aravind: The keeper-bat has been shouldering UAE’s batting responsibility off late. Since 2022, he has been UAE’s highest run scorer in ODIs (1416), scoring over 30% more than the next best (Muhammad Waseem - 1069). He’s also hit the most boundaries for any UAE batter (142), about twice the next in line (84).

Aayan Khan: The youngster has been a revelation for the middle-eastern nation. Since his debut, he has the best economy (3.6) and the third best average (22.7) for any UAE bowler. Add his handy lower order batting to that, and you have a potent combo. He averages 29 runs and 35 balls per innings, and is a very competent fielder. The 17 year old is definitely one to look out for.


Aaron Jones: The USA second-in-command has been a consistent performer for their side. He’s been their highest run scorer (900) in the last couple of years, and has done so at an average of 41 runs and 54 balls per innings. In fact, his 87-ball-89 against Ireland in the warmup game was a reflection of his recent form as well. 

Ali Khan: The T20 globetrotter has practically been the sole wicket-taking option for the USA. He’s taken a wicket every 19 balls, and averages just 14 runs/wicket. Both being well ahead of the rest of the pack. At the peak of his prowess, the 32 year old will want to make it count for his national side.

West Indies

Shai Hope: That the West Indian skipper is an accomplished stroke maker is no secret. And the numbers reflect just that. He is the most experienced ODI player in the current squad. He’s also their highest run scorer since 2022. An average in excess of 40 runs and 50 balls per innings shows his durability. And the responsibility of being a captain has only made him better. His form in the last few months has also been solid, and Daren Sammy will be hoping that he’s able to carry this into the CWC Qualifiers. 

Alzarri Joseph: The Antiguan has been potent with the new ball for West Indies. Amongst all WI pacers since 2022, his ODI numbers are much better than all his peers, showcasing how indispensable he would be if his side were to stake a claim to a WC spot. He’s been great at taking regular breakthroughs - he’s taken more than a wicket in 9 out of 13 innings since 2022, and has gone wicketless just twice.


Sikandar Raza: The Sialkot-born Zimbabwe international has been the fulcrum of their batting unit. Runs, boundaries, anchor, finish - he’s been at it time and time again. In ODIs since 2022, he’s been their highest run scorer, highest boundary hitter, has the best average, and the second-best strike rate. 

And we haven’t even gone into his bowling. He’s been their third highest wicket-taker in ODIs in the last year and a half, and a crucial option to break partnerships in the middle-overs. Given what he offers to the side, it won’t be entirely wrong to say that Zimbabwe will overly reliant on Raza to get through to the main event.

Blessing Muzarabani: The tall lanky pacer has been Zimbabwe’s go-to-bowler in the recent past. Apart from taking wickets, his ability to hit hard lengths and seam the ball in has also helped him be an effective defensive option. 

He has been Zimbabwe’s second highest wicket-taker (14), despite the highest wicket-taker (Richard Ngarava - 16) bowling 50% more overs. He’s also been the most economical option amongst all Zimbabwe bowlers who’ve taken at least 10 wickets. 

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