Man of the Match selection procedure in cricket: Who decides it and How?

The concept for the Man of the Match selection procedure in cricket is straightforward. Usually, a player who makes an exceptional contribution to their team in the batting, bowling, or fielding departments is adjudged the “Man of the Match” or “Player of the Match”.

Top cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Sanath Jayasuriya have accumulated numerous Man of the Match awards. 

As a cricket fan, you might often think about which player would grab the Man of the Match award as soon as the game concludes. You would have observed that a player scoring more runs or taking more wickets from the winning team gets the award.

There are a few instances when a player from the losing side gets the award. It is a kind of encouragement for their exceptional performance. For example, Sachin Tendulkar achieved the Man of the Match award for scoring 98 runs, despite his team losing to Australia in the 2003 ODI World Cup.

In most of the matches, you might observe that a batsman’s century gets more value than a bowler’s 5-fer.

In recent times, the Man of the Match selection procedure has been implemented in such a way that a batsman generally walks away with the award, for hitting the finishing runs. It is because of the dynamic pace of the T20 format. A batsman’s domination overshadows a bowler’s performance by dispatching the deliveries beyond the boundary ropes to add spice to the game.

Have you ever wondered who decided the man of the match and how in the sport of cricket? Can you believe there were a few matches where cricketers received man of the match award in a strange way such as a rice cooker?

It would be interesting to explore many unknown facts in the world of cricket…

A detailed explanation of the Man of the Match selection procedure: Who decides it and how?

While there isn’t any section in the laws of cricket, these sets of members play a crucial role that specifies the Man of the Match selection procedure:

1. Match Umpires and Referees:

The umpires and referees have less authority to decide which player is eligible to get the Man of the Match award. This is because the main role of the umpires is to ensure that players abide by the rules and regulations in a cricket match.

However, there are rare occasions when there is a tie between two individuals. In such circumstances, the match referee’s decision helps as a tie-breaker to grant the man of the match award.

2. Fan Voting, Media and Commentators:

The media and fan voting play a crucial role in determining the Man of the Match award. But, the result is finally decided by a panel of commentators.

Fans actively participate through polls and SMS. The main reason why a set of commentators make a decision is because these are the experts who have a better knowledge of the game. Before announcing the decision, the panel considers various factors like runs, wickets, and players’ contributions to the game.

3. Senior Players:

Apart from the commentators, the senior players involve themselves in the man of the match selection procedure. In tournaments like the ICC World Cup and Champions Trophy, a larger panel of senior members along with the match referee decide the man of the match award.

What is the role of Sponsors in the Man of the Match selection procedure?

The main role of the sponsors is to present the Man of the Match award to players. They cannot involve themselves in the selection procedure. In other words, the sponsors don’t have the decision-making authority.

The sponsors present the award in the form of a cheque with a lucrative amount. Sometimes, the awards are presented in the form of memorable products, which turn out to be hilarious.

Weird Man of the Match Awards in cricket

Here are some weird presentations a player received in the form of a “Man of the Match award”. It is one of the unique marketing strategies of sponsors to promote their brands:

1. Eoin Morgan: Rice Cooker

In Dhaka Premier League 2013, the Irish-born England cricketer Eoin Morgan played a match-winning knock under extreme pressure. One of the sponsors decided to promote their brand by awarding the Man of the Match to Eoin Morgan as a rice cooker. It symbolically denoted his exceptional performance ‘under pressure’.

2. Jhye Richardson: Bat Grip and Shoe Lace

The Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson received the Man of the Match award with a shoelace and bat grip. Many former cricketers criticized the awards that players received during the India tour of Australia in 2018-19.

3. Caribbean Premier League 2019: Sunshine snacks

The Sunshine Snacks started its official promotion massively in the Caribbean Premier League 2019. The sponsor presented a snack box to the CPL players as a Man of the Match award. It was another symbolic representation of players maintaining their fitness levels as they cannot consume oily snacks. Finally, the snack brand that served chips and nuts to its customers decided to upgrade its promotional activities through CPL cricket matches