The Man of the Match or Player of the Match award is given to the best performer of the game. Also to keep in mind is that there is no written or official rule that the Player of the Match award should be given to a player from the winning side, as we have seen in rare cases that sometimes a player on the losing side makes such an outstanding performance that he bags this award despite his side losing the match.
Top 5 cricketers who have won most Player of the Match awards in international cricket:
1. Sachin Tendulkar – 76 times
With no surprises here, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar has won the highest number of Man of the Match award – 76 times. Tendulkar won 14 Player of the Match awards in Tests and 62 such awards in ODIs.
Tendulkar has most Man of the Match awards in ODIs- 62.
Sachin Tendulkar was the Man of the Tournament in the 2003 World Cup.
Hailed as the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar had an illustrious 24-year international career from 1989 to 2013 where he won India several games and ended up as the leading international run-scorer, amassing over 34,000 runs.
2. Virat Kohli – 63 times
India superstar batsman and arguably the greatest all-format international batsman, Virat Kohli is behind Tendulkar with 63 Player of the Match awards in his career so far.
Kohli has won the Man of the Match award 10 times in Test cricket, 38 times in ODIs, and 15 times in T20Is.
Virat Kohli has most Man of the Match awards in T20Is -15.
Kohli is also the only player to be named the Man of the Tournament twice in World Cups – 2014 T20 WC and 2016 T20 WC.
Virat Kohli has recorded 25582 runs so far for India; he’s the second highest run-scorer among Indians and fifth highest overall. His 76 centuries are only bettered by Tendulkar’s 100 hundreds.
Tendulkar and Kohli are tied for most Man of the Series awards at 20 each.
3. Sanath Jayasuriya – 58 times
Sri Lankan legendary all-rounder and opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya is third on this list with 58 Player of the Match awards in his career – 4 in Test cricket, 48 in ODIs, and 6 in T20Is.
Jayasuriya, who played a crucial role in Sri Lanka winning the 1996 World Cup, scored 21032 international runs in his career spanning from 1989 to 2011.
4. Jacques Kallis – 57 times
Hailed as arguably the greatest all-rounder cricket has seen, South African icon Jacques Kallis was awarded with the Man of the Match award 57 times in his international career.
Kallis won the Player of the Match award in Test 23 times – which is the most for any player in the world.
Kallis aggregated 25534 international runs, the most by an South African, alongside picking up 577 wickets.
5. Kumar Sangakkara – 50 times
Former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara is Sri Lanka’s all-time top run-scorer in international cricket, and overall only behind Tendulkar, with 28016 runs. He was given the Player of the Match award 50 times – 16 in Test, 31 in ODIs, and 3 in T20Is.