Cricket 2023: Adam Zampa misses out on ODI Player of the Year, Michael Clarke says he should ‘never say never’

Adam Zampa has been dealt another blow on cricket’s night of nights, with the legspinner going empty-handed from the Australian Cricket Awards at Royal Randwick last night.

Leaving empty-handed has been a rarity for Zampa of late, who took 30 wickets in one-day internationals across the qualifying period from just 12 matches.

The Stars captain was widely tipped to win the Men’s ODI player of the year, but failed to poll in the top three for votes despite taking almost twice as many wickets as next-best ODI bowler Mitchell Starc.

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It comes after Zampa was left out of the Australian squad that departs for a four-Test tour of India today, having been told he was “close” to selection, leaving him reconsidering his future in the red-ball game.

“I’m very disappointed, I would have loved to be on it,” he said at the time.

“I thought with the way I’ve been going in international cricket in particular, this was going to be my opportunity.

“That was the messaging I got six weeks ago, now I’m not, I’m very flat about it.”

Zampa is currently in the UAE playing for the Dubai Capitals in the ILT20 league, where he has taken 6 wickets at 5.33 at the time of writing.

Given his affinity for the subcontinent, it makes Zampa’s performance over the last year all the more impressive when you consider he only played three games there last year, all against Pakistan on infamously unhelpful wickets.

While recognition may have gone begging for Zampa at home, the international accolades did not, with the 30-year-old named in the ICC’s ODI team of the year and being short-listed for the male ODI player of the year.

The men’s ODI award, like its equivalents in the other formats, is awarded by a 3-2-1 voting system among players, umpires and media.

David Warner finished equal with Steve Smith with 25 votes, but having received more allocations of 3 votes, won the award on a tie-break.

The result stunned social media, with CODE Sports journalist Lachlan McKirdy saying he was “pretty surprised” at Adam Zampa being passed over.,

English student journalist Rivaan Athwal asked “does Adam Zampa play water polo or something?”

Beleaguered former Test captain Michael Clarke discussed the snubbing on his radio show, the Big Sports Breakfast, saying “Zamps has done very well in T20 cricket and white ball cricket.”

“I think (Mitch) Swepson is ahead of him but they’re very different bowlers,” he said.

“I don’t think you can put that line through him, you can’t put a line through anyone.

“He’s very accurate, but because he doesn’t spin the ball as much, in red ball cricket, he’d find it harder because the batter can defend until they get a bad ball.

“You never say never.”

Zampa will have almost a month off after the conclusion of the ILT20 in the UAE and the beginning of Australia’s white-ball tour of India, which begins on March 17.

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