Proteas Women's opener Lizelle Lee crowned women's ODI Cricketer of the Year

Lee, who is the number one-ranked ODI batter in the world, scored 632 runs in 11 matches, averaging 90.28, scoring a century and five half-centuries. She also scored the most runs in 2021.

South Africa's Lizelle Lee in action against the West Indies Women's cricket team on 13 September 2021. Picture: @OfficialCSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Lizelle Lee was awarded the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award for 2021.

The Protea had a fantastic year, ending it as the highest run-scorer, having struck 632 runs in 11 matches, recording one century and five half-centuries at an average of 90.28.

Lee said: “I didn’t expect this, it’s a massive honour and winning the [award] is amazing. There’s so many people I can give credit to.”

"There’s so many people who played a role for this, not only on the field. My family has been my number one supporter; my parents, my wife. They’ve been amazing. I also have to give credit to our coaching staff, and teammates. If it wasn’t for them I honestly wouldn’t even be able to play," Lee said.

When accepting the award, the opening batter singled out the first ODI of the Proteas Womens tour where she hit 91 not out.

"It was pretty tough conditions. That was probably one of the best, I thought it was a hard-fought game," Lee said.

The opener was named player of the match as the South Africans won by eight wickets.

South Africa will hope that Lee can continue this form when the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is scheduled to be held in New Zealand.

The Proteas women begin their tournament against Bangladesh on 5 March.