Cricket Oscars 2016: A look at the winners of the 2016 Cricket Oscars

The 88th Annual Academy Awards, more commonly known as the Oscar Awards took place with much aplomb on February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Many big names won awards for their top performances, especially Leonardo di Caprio, who had been missing out on the award for years.

We have come up with our own award list for cricketing performances over the calendar year 2015. We also include the first two months of the year 2016. Not all categories in our list are exactly as are in the original Oscars list.

...and the Oscar goes to:

#1 Best picture: AB de Villiers' 162* (66)

Best picture: AB de Villiers

The biggest award of the Cricket Oscars goes to the man who won it in 2015 too – AB de Villiers. In the 19th match of the 2015 ICC World Cup, South Africa faced the West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

After scores in the sixties from three South African batsmen, AB came into bat at No. 5 after the fall of the wicket of Hashim Amla when the score was 149 in the 30th over. A score of anything above 300 looked good at that point of time.

However, when you have a batsman of AB's calibre, you can even hope to achieve a score of 400-plus, which is exactly what the Proteas did. South Africa scored 262 runs in the last 122 balls of the innings, thanks to their captain's unbeaten knock of 162 off just 66 balls.

On his way to score the fastest 150 in ODIs, following his fastest ODI hundred record a few months earlier, AB hit 17 fours and eight sixes. Although he finished with a strike rate of 245.45, AB started off his innings slower than what his final score would have shown.

His 50 came in 30 balls, his 100 came off just 52 balls while his 150 came off 64 balls. Each fifty he scored in that innings was faster than the previous one he scored, his last 62 runs coming off a mere 14 balls.

Performing at such a level on the biggest stage (the World Cup) exemplified the quality of the batsman that AB de Villiers is. The 32-year-old is currently one of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket and is a threat to any bowling attack.

#2 Best Director (coach): Chandika Hathurusingha

Best Director (coach): Chandika Hathurusingha - Cricket - Oscars 2016

The Bangladesh Cricket Team has been growing in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. Following a 3-0 Test series win and a 5-0 home ODI series win over Zimbabwe in late 2014, the year 2015 was a year filled with success for the Bangladesh cricket team, especially in the ODI format.

Reaching the quarter-final stage of a World Cup for the first time, during the 2015 ICC World Cup, and following that with home ODI series wins against Pakistan, India and South Africa finished off what was a very prosperous year for the former minnows.

On closely observing, it can be seen that the start of their success in ODIs started with the appointment of former Sri Lankan cricketer, Chandika Hathurusingha as their head coach in mid-2014.
Zimbabwe's tour of Bangladesh in late 2015 led to the hosts winning the ODI series 3-0 and thus winning their fifth consecutive ODI series on home soil, all under Hathurusingha. The 47-year-old has helped give hope to the Bangladeshi fans each time their team takes part in a major tournament.

Hathurusingha will be hoping to follow the performance from the 2015 ICC World Cup in the ongoing Asia Cup T20 and the upcoming World T20 and help mentor Bangladesh to greater levels of achievement.

#3 Best Cricketer (Male): Kane Williamson

Best Cricketer (Male): Kane Williamson - Cricket - Oscars 2016

When taking all three formats into consideration, it is not really a surprising choice to make with the Best Men's Cricketer in the last one year. Kane Williamson has been in supreme form in all forms of the game for his country and been scoring runs at relative ease when his teammates seem to struggle.

In 53 international matches that Williamson played since the start of 2015, he has scored 3339 runs at a brilliant average of 60.70. The 25-year-old scored eight centuries and 21 half-centuries in the last 14 months. With such numbers, there can be no doubt about Williamson being the best cricketer across all formats right now.

For the 2015 calendar year, Williamson came close to being the highest ever run-getter (across all formats) in a calendar year when he finished third in the all-time list, only behind Kumar Sangakkara and Ricky Ponting. Williamson had scored 2692 runs, finishing the calendar year just 172 runs behind Sangakkara.

The fact that the Kiwi captain is only 25 years old makes his achievements all the more impressive and sets him up for what will be a famous cricketing career.

#4 Best Cricketer (Female): Meg Lanning

Best Cricketer (Female): Meg Lanning - Cricket - Oscars 2016

Just like in 2015, an Australian women's cricketer scoops the award for the Best Women's Cricketer, as Meg Lanning had a memorable year for the Southern Stars.

Lanning scored a mammoth 572 runs in just nine innings at an outstanding average of 71.50, scoring three centuries during the last 14 months. Her best outing came against New Zealand Women where she scored 246 runs in three matches at an average of 123.00.

Even in the T20I format, Lanning was consistent for the Southern Stars as she scored 223 runs in 10 matches at a healthy average of just under 25. The 23-year-old is also the captain of the Australian Women's side and has led her side to wins in the ODI format, recently winning the 50-over series against Indian Women and New Zealand Women.

#5 Best Debutant: Kagiso Rabada

Best Debutant: Kagiso Rabada - Cricket - Oscars 2016
Although Kagiso Rabada made his debut in T20Is for South Africa in November 2014, he made both his Test and ODI debuts in 2015 and has impressed in both formats for the Proteas and is only growing in confidence with each appearance for the national side.

Rabada made his Test debut in the Test series against India in November, 2015, while he played his first ODI against Bangladesh in July, 2015. On both occasions, Rabada did not have the comforts of home conditions to make use of to make a good first impression.

The Test series against India was played on pitches that assisted spinners more than the pace bowlers and he picked up only two wickets in the three Tests he played. However, in the home series against England, Rabada found himself and in the absence of frontline pacer, Dale Steyn, took up the mantle of leading the bowling attack as he picked up 21 wickets in three Tests.

With an average of 24.70 and an economy rate of 3.73, the 20-year-old looks like he could easily take over the role of being South Africa's main bowler very soon. In ODIs, Rabada's record is even better as he has 30 wickets to his name in 14 games at an impressive average of 20.13 and an economy rate of 4.83.

#6 Lifetime Achievement Award: Virender Sehwag

Lifetime Achievement Award: Virender Sehwag - Cricket - Oscars 2016

Many great cricketers bid adieu to the international game during the 2015 calendar year, a list that inlcuded the likes of Zaheer Khan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Mitchell Johnson and Michael Clarke. But, another cricketer who said farewell to international cricket – Virender Sehwag – is the one that wins the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016.

Sehwag had one of the most glittering international careers after he played the game ‘his way’. The 37-year-old was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining batsmen of his era and it is difficult to say if cricket will witness another player of the same talent and quality as Sehwag.

In 443 international innings that Sehwag played, he scored 17253 runs at an average of 40.31 with 38 hundreds and 72 fifties to his name. He is the only Indian batsman to have scored a triple century in Test cricket. Sehwag is the only batsman, other Don Bradman, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, to have scored more than one triple century in Tests.

With such an illustrious 14-year career with unbelievable numbers, it only makes sense to give the former Indian captain the Lifetime Achievement Award.

#7 Best Short Film: Gayle's 12-ball 50

Best Short Film: Gayle

When talking about the T20 format, there can be no player in the same league as Christopher Henry Gayle. Gayle, despite being 36 years old, has been a phenomenal player in the shortest format of the game and is unsurprsingly the highest run-getter in T20s.

In addition to most runs, Gayle also has the fastest hundred ever scored in T20s when he scored a 30-ball hundred for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2013 edtion of the Indian Premier League.

He added another feather to his cap when he equalled the record for the fastest fifty in T20s during the recently concluded Big Bash League (BBL). Gayle scored his fifty off 12 balls for the Melbourne Renegades against the Adelaide Strikers, thus equalling the record set by Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh against England in 2007.

After the West Indian equalled his record, Yuvraj took to Twitter to express his delight at Gayle scoring 50 in just 12 balls and also hoped that it would be Gayle or AB de Villiers who might break his record.

#8 Best Cricketer in a Supporting Role: Adam Voges

Best Cricketer in a Supporting Role: Adam Voges - Cricket - Oscars 2016

In a team that has the likes of David Warner, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood as the frontline players, this award goes to a player who has been in the form of his life since making his Test debut for Australia – Adam Voges.

Despite having made debuts in ODIs and T20Is for Australia in 2007, it took eight more years for Voges to make his first appearance in the longest format of the game.

Since making his debut for Australia in June 2015, against West Indies, Voges has played 15 Test matches and scored 1337 runs. What makes his achievement incredible is the batting average he holds – 95.50! He has five centuries and four half-centuries to his name. Two of his five centuries are double centuries, proving his ability to stay long periods at the crease and help add to the team's score.

Batting at No. 5, opportunities don't come by easily for Voges, however, the 36-year-old has made the very best of whatever chances he has got to prove himself and is slowly turning out to be a crucial player in the No. 1 Test side.

#9 Best Comedian: Jimmy Neesham

Best Comedian: Jimmy Neesham - Cricket - Oscars 2016

Almost all cricket fans active on social media will be well aware of a certain New Zealand all-rounder named Jimmy Neesham. In addition to being a talented cricketer, Neesham is well known to be one of the most hilarious cricketers on Twitter with his trademark tweets and responses that are unbelievably funny.

Over the last one year, Neesham has been quite active on Twitter, following a lengthy period on the sidelines due to injury. The 25-year-old is not one to hold back from making his feelings known to his fans and followers, even if they are trying to rile him up
Some of his funny tweets that happened during the 2015 World Cup . No one sees cricket the same way the Kiwi all-rounder does, but yet, we all tend to agree with his hilarious point of view on a certain incident that took place.

During a Reddit AMA that Neesham hosted during July 2015, the New Zealand all-rounder gave an amazing response when asked about what he thought about when he went into bat.

“Ok get through the first couple of balls. Jeez that was quick. Ok knuckle down here. Oooh that girl's quite pretty-Oi stop it, concentrate. Watch the ball. Shit that came off the bat quite nicely. I wonder how long it is til lunch? These pants are a bit tight, maybe I should get some new ones. Watch the ball. NO KANE NO. Come on mate there's no run there, jeez. Oooh it's lunch, I wonder if there's cheesecake?”

#10 Best Score: We Didn't Start The Fire (Ashes Version)


Billy Joel's ‘We Didn't Start The Fire’ is a classic anthem that has everyone singing along. Sky Sports made use of that as they asked their cricket pundits and some of the cricketers to sing along in a version sung by British rockstar, Elio Pace and his band ahead of the 2015 Ashes.

In the video posted on Soccer AM's YouTube channel, former English cricketer and current commentator, David Lloyd is the star as the 68-year-old showcases his singing skills. Others who feature in the video include the likes of Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussan, Michael Holding, Shane Warne, Ian Botham and David Gower.

From the players’ side, Joe Root was the representative as he sang (or spoke) along with the modified lyrics that described the history of the Ashes and heroes and villains of cricket's oldest rivalry.

#11 Best Dialogue: MS Dhoni

Best Dialogue: MS Dhoni - Cricket - Oscars 2016

Just like last year, the award for the Best Dialogue goes to the Indian captain, MS Dhoni. Dhoni is well known for his witty and humourous comments during press conferences, interviews and even behind the stumps.

During the post-match press conference of the second T20I against Sri Lanka in Ranchi, Dhoni was asked about the absence of the famous helicopter shot from his repertoire for a while. Dhoni explained it via analogies to the media as he told how a helicopter cannot fly in a submarine that is under water, meaning that he needed the appropriate ball to hit the helicopter shot.

“If they bowl me bouncers, the only way I can play the helicopter shot is if I stand on a stool,” Dhoni explained.

#12 Best Entertainer: Brendon McCullum

Best Entertainer: Brendon McCullum - Cricket - Oscars 2016

The Cricket Oscar for the Best Entertainer Award is given to the most exciting cricketer in the last 14 months. There is no real competition for the now-retired New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum, who has been the most entertaining player in the last one year.

Every cricketer dreams of retiring from the game on a high. McCullum lived that dream as he scored the fastest ever Test hundred as he smashed the Australian bowlers on his way to a 54-ball hundred in his last Test.

It definitely was not the most elegant of innings, but it spoke volumes of how McCullum played cricket his way. No matter what format he played in, McCullum batted to entertain.

Since the start of 2015, McCullum scored 1523 runs in 47 international innings, hitting nine half-centuries and two centuries. He walloped bowlers during New Zealand's road to a maiden appearance in a world cup final during the 2015 ICC World Cup. His 25-ball 77 against England was one of the most attacking and entertaining innings in One-Day international cricket.

In T20s in 2015, McCullum scored two centuries with one of them being an unbeaten 64-ball 158 for Warwickshire against Derbyshire in the Natwest T20 Blast.

All this just amounts to conclude the special and entertaining talent that Brendon McCullum was in his cricketing career, not just the last one year.


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