Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman has won the ESPNCricinfo award for the best bowling performance in T20Is, while rookie off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz has been named the debutant of the year.
It marks the second year in a row that a Bangladeshi player has won the debutant award, with Mustafizur winning the honour in 2016 for his exploits in the home series against Pakistan, India and South Africa in 2015.
Mehedi took the world by storm in his debut Test series, taking a five-for in his debut match against England in Chittagong in October 2016, before going on to bag a 10-wicket haul in the following match in Dhaka, allowing Bangladesh to win their first Test against England. His 12 for 159 in the second game are the best match figures by a Bangladesh bowler and took his tally to 19 wickets in that two-Test series against England.
“I kept thinking of how Mustafizur had performed on his debut for Bangladesh and I was most inspired by that,” Mehedi said in a video on the Cricinfo website after receiving his award. “Because he bowled really well against India and he had a crucial role in our win over India. Seeing that I felt more confident.”
Mustafizur's performance against New Zealand in the ICC World Twenty20 last year won him the category. His five for 22 were the best figures in the global tournament. Even though Mustafizur had phenomenal performances in 2015, it was his display in the World Twenty20 that made him a global name.