Australian opener Usman Khawaja was named the Test Cricket of the Year as part of the ICC Awards for 2023. Khawaja became the sixth Australian player to become the Test Cricketer of the Year after the likes of Ricky Ponting (2006), Michael Clarke (2013), Mitchell Johnson (2014), Steve Smith (2015 and 2017) and Pat Cummins (2019). The veteran left-hander was the leading run-getter in Tests in 2023, scoring 1,210 runs including three centuries and six fifties at an average of 52.60.
Khawaja trumped the likes of R Ashwin, compatriot Travis Head and Joe Root in the race to win the Test cricketer of the year award. The 37-year-old was informed about the same on the broadcast of the Australia-West Indies second Test in Brisbane and even though he admitted that he had known the same for a week now but mentioned that he was honoured and that it was a result of hard work he has put behind the scenes.
Khawaja, when asked by Adam Gilchrist about his favourite moment of the year, recalled the Edgbaston Test against England – the opening game of the Ashes 2023. Khawaja, who was the top run-getter in the India series before the World Test Championship final including a century and a couple of fifties, slammed a magnificent 141 in the first innings and followed it up with a 65 in the second innings in the Ashes opener while chasing a target as Australia won a thriller by just two wickets.
“It’s a great privilege. I have been playing cricket for a long time and I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that at 37, I’ll be winning ICC men’s Test player of the year. So, yeah very excited,” Khawaja said in an ICC video.
Khawaja was part of the World Test Championship-winning Australian team after retaining the Ashes, which also went on to win the World Cup later in the year.