A Man of the Match Award is the stamp that a player was the best amongst the 22 cricketers who were on the park for that game. It fills a cricketer with the joy of having helped his team win a game. Of course, we have also witnessed several instances wherein a player from the losing team has won the Man of the Match Award. In this article, we take a look at six cricketers who have won the most number of Man of the Match awards in ODIs so far.
6) Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) – 32 M.O.M awards in 398 games
As a 16-year-old in 1996, Shahid Afridi scored 102 runs off just 40 balls against Sri Lanka. One of the fastest hundreds ever scored, Afridi still holds the record for being the youngest centurion ever. Incidentally, it was in that game that Afridi got his first-ever Man of the Match Award in ODI cricket.
A career that resulted in 8064 runs at a strike rate of 117.00 and 395 wickets, Afridi also happens to be the greatest six-hitter in the game. He hit 351 sixes, a feat that no one has been able to overtake till today. In between, the Pakistani all-rounder collected a total of 32 M.O.M awards.
5) Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 32 M.O.M awards in 375 games
The third-highest run-getter in ODI’s so far, Ricky Ponting won 32 M.O.M over his illustrious career. As a captain, the Punter led Australia to World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007.
Ponting was always known to be an impact cricketer. He performed under pressure, and one of his famous M.O.M performances was in the final of the 2003 World Cup. Batting against India, he scored 140 runs and helped Australia set an almost unattainable target. In his 32 awards, Ponting also got one for ICC World XI in 2005, when his team was up against the Ganguly led Asia XI. He scored 115 runs in that encounter.
4) Jacques Kallis (South Africa) – 32 M.O.M awards in 328 games
Arguably the greatest all-rounder to have played the game, Kallis is also one of the cricketers who have won the most number of Man of the Match awards in ODIs. Kallis scored 11579 runs and snapped 273 wickets in his ODI career.
Honoured as the M.O.M on 32 occasions, most of these performances by the South African were all-round in nature. While the first of these awards came in 1997 against India, Kallis was the Man of the Match for the last time in 2010 against Pakistan.
3) Virat Kohli (India) – 36 M.O.M awards in 254 games *
Virat Kohli is just into 250-odd games in his career and has already accounted for 36 Player of the Match awards. With a few more years left in his career, the current Indian captain can climb higher up on this list.
The modern-era great has also collected nine Man of the Series Awards so far. Having already racked up more than 10000 ODI runs, Virat’s first M.O.M Award came in 2009 against West Indies as a teenager. He consistently chased targets, and the M.O.M award count kept increasing. In 2018, he scored hundreds in three games in South Africa and was the Player of the Match in all these games.
2) Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) – 48 M.O.M awards in 445 games
Although he was known as a destructive opener, Sanath was also an efficient bowler. In his ODI career, he collected 323 wickets apart from scoring 13430 runs. Hence, the Sri Lankan has won M.O.M awards both for his batting and bowling performances.
Jayasuriya was one of his country’s best performers in the triumphant 1996 World Cup. In fact, the dashing opener won two Player of the Match awards in that event. While he got one against India, the next one, he got against Pakistan in the quarter-finals, in which Sanath was the difference between both teams.
1) Sachin Tendulkar (India) – 62 M.O.M awards in 463 games
Of course, it is Sachin Tendulkar who leads this list of cricketers who have won the most number of Man of the Match awards in ODIs. The Master Blaster has also won the most Man of the Series Awards, with a count of 15 awards in a total of 108 tournaments that he was part of.
As a 17-year-old, Sachin won his first M.O.M award against Sri Lanka for his performance of scoring 53 runs and collecting two wickets. Interestingly, Sachin was the Player of the Match on quite a few occasions solely due to his bowling displays. His most memorable M.O.M awards came in Sharjah against Australia in 1998, when he collected three of them. Sachin was also the Player of the Match when India defeated Pakistan in the semis of the 2011 World Cup.