Proteas starlet Marco Jansen named ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year

FILE - South Africa's Marco Jansen reacts after the dismissal of India's Virat Kohli. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/AFP

FILE - South Africa's Marco Jansen reacts after the dismissal of India's Virat Kohli. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/AFP

Published Jan 25, 2023


Johannesburg — Marco Jansen being named the ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year caps a remarkable 12 months for the young Proteas all-rounder.

The 22-year-old was named the top upcoming player in the international game on Wednesday ahead of New Zealand’s Finn Allen, Arshdeep Singh of India and Afghanistan youngster Ibrahim Zadran.

It has been an incredible rise for Jansen, who just over a year ago was yet to play for South Africa.

As the 2023 calendar begins, the 2.09-meter-tall left-armer has become an integral part of the national set-up of the Proteas where he has featured in 12 matches across all three formats.

Klerksdorp-born Jansen has been particularly influential in the Test arena where he played eight matches and captured an outstanding 36 wickets, second only to South Africa’s spearhead, Kagiso Rabada (47).

“I am lost for words right now after what I think has been a dream year for me,” a delighted Jansen said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined taking 36 wickets and playing eight Test matches for the Proteas in my first year of international cricket.

“So to have achieved this feat, with the cherry on top of being named as the ICC Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year, is unbelievable. I am so grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to reach this point so early in my career.”

Jansen’s wickets in Test match cricket came at an impressive average of 19.02 with the lanky paceman bagging two four wicket hauls and a one five-for (5/35), which came at the Oval in London during the Proteas’ tour to England during August and September.

He also recorded a maiden half-century (59) when South Africa faced Australia in Melbourne during their year-end tour. Overall with the bat, he accumulated 234 runs in his 13 innings over the past year.

“Those are the two performances that really stand out for me,” Jansen beamed. “Taking my first Test fifer against England at the Oval, and hitting my first Test half-century against Australia in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

“To reach those milestones at two of the most historic venues for Test cricket, those are memories I will truly cherish forever.”

In the other two formats, Jansen played three One-Day Internationals and a solitary T20I as he continues to establish himself in the limited-overs set-up.

And despite his stellar year, the rising young star is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

“Whatever sport you play, it is about longevity,” he adds. “I am still a rookie in international cricket, and these were only the first steps of my journey. I don’t want to be remembered just by this award, I want to become the best and to get there a lot of hard work lies ahead.

“I am also still developing and hopefully with hard work and dedication in the months and years ahead, I will be able to reach my full potential and become a great ambassador for South African cricket.

“For now I will enjoy the moment, but I look forward to building on my achievements of 2022 in 2023.”

IOL Sport