In the dynamic world of cricket, it’s not uncommon for players to rise to fame through their exceptional batting or bowling skills. However, there are instances when cricketers become champions without actively participating in these primary aspects of the game. In the year 2023, several such instances occurred, where players achieved glory without batting or bowling. Let’s delve into the stories of these remarkable individuals.
5 Cricketers Who Won The Trophy Without Batting Or Bowling In The Tournament In 2023
1. Washington Sundar – Asia Cup 2023
The Asia Cup 2023 witnessed a stunning turn of events when Indian all-rounder Washington Sundar stepped into the limelight. Initially, he was drafted into the squad as a last-minute replacement for the injured Axar Patel. Sundar’s inclusion was primarily due to his right-arm off-spin and batting prowess.
However, destiny had a different plan for Sundar during the final match against Sri Lanka. While he was expected to contribute with both bat and ball, he found himself on the field as a fielder for a mere 15.2 overs. The bowlers, including Mohammed Siraj, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah, performed exceptionally, dismissing Sri Lanka for a paltry 50 runs.
With such a low target to chase down, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan did the job efficiently. Washington Sundar, despite not getting an opportunity to showcase his batting or bowling skills, was part of the victorious team that clinched the Asia Cup. This unexpected twist in his cricketing journey highlights the unpredictable nature of the sport.
2. Josh Inglis – World Test Championship 2023
The 2023 ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between Australia and India brought forth another intriguing story. Josh Inglis, a part of the Australian squad, was included as a backup wicketkeeper, providing support to the established Alex Carey.
Inglis’s role as a reserve player was clear, as Carey was fit and ready to take on the responsibilities behind the stumps. As the final match unfolded, Australia managed to secure a historic victory against India, becoming the WTC champions.
What makes Inglis’s journey remarkable is that he had not yet made his Test debut. Despite his lack of playing time in the tournament, he had the privilege of lifting the coveted World Test Championship mace. It serves as a testament to the depth of talent and the importance of teamwork in cricket.
3. Subhranshu Senapati – IPL 2023
Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 witnessed the rise of several young talents, but one player stood out for a unique reason. Uncapped Indian batter Subhranshu Senapati found himself in the squad of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a team known for its stability in the playing XI throughout the season.
While injuries forced CSK to shuffle their fast-bowling attack, the core of their batting lineup remained consistent. Unfortunately for Senapati, this meant warming the bench for the entire season. However, destiny had a different plan in store for him.
As the IPL 2023 season concluded, Senapati had the incredible opportunity to lift the IPL trophy in Ahmedabad. Despite not getting a chance to showcase his batting prowess during the tournament, he became a champion through sheer association with the team.
4. Shaik Rasheed – IPL 2023
Another promising talent in the Chennai Super Kings camp during IPL 2023 was 18-year-old Shaik Rasheed. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Rasheed possessed the ability to both bat and bowl leg-spin when required. However, his limited experience, having played only three domestic T20s, deterred CSK from giving him a chance in the tournament.
The decision to not field Rasheed may have disappointed him initially, but the exposure he gained during IPL 2023 and the opportunity to be part of a championship-winning team would have undoubtedly fueled his determination. CSK’s plans to retain their uncapped talents for IPL 2024 might pave the way for Rasheed’s future success in the league.
5. Bhagath Varma – IPL 2023
Bhagath Varma, an off-spin bowling all-rounder, etched his name in IPL history with a remarkable feat. He is one of the few cricketers who have won multiple IPL championships without setting foot on the playing field. Varma was a part of the CSK squad that lifted the trophy in 2021, and he repeated the feat in 2023.
Varma’s role primarily involved supporting his team in practice sessions and contributing to the team’s camaraderie off the field. While he may not have had the chance to display his skills in a match, his presence in the CSK setup is a testament to the team’s emphasis on teamwork and unity.
Looking ahead, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 24-year-old Varma evolve into a regular member of the CSK playing XI in the coming years, showcasing his talent on the field as well.
The world of cricket is full of stories of perseverance, dedication, and unexpected twists of fate. These five cricketers – Washington Sundar, Josh Inglis, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, and Bhagath Varma – exemplify how one can become a champion in the sport without batting or bowling, proving that cricket’s allure lies not just in individual performances but in the collective spirit of the team.