The Man of the Match award is a prestigious honour as it confirms who has been the most influential player but who has claimed the most medals in ODIs?
Player of the Match Awards
A player of the match award is given by an independent panel of adjudicators at the end of a game. The winner should be the player who has made the most outstanding contribution to the match in question.
It could be a big score from one of the batsmen that sways the judges’ decision. Alternatively, a bowler who returns stunning figures will claim the award. On many occasions, an all-round display with bat and ball will be enough.
Most Man of the Match Awards in ODI Cricket
1. Sachin Tendulkar (India)
In an ODI career that included an incredible 463 matches, Sachin Tendulkar claimed no fewer than 62 Player of the Match awards. The man known as the ‘Little Master’ scored 49 centuries in this format and most of those tons would have led to him winning the Man of the Match medal.
His greatest achievement came in 2010 when he became the first ever cricketer to score 200 in an ODI, which currently makes for the 8th highest ODI score in an innings. By no coincidence, Tendulkar also gained the most man of the series awards in ODI by far.
2. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)
A powerful left hander who was part of Sri Lanka’s ODI revolution in the 1990s, Sanath Jayasuriya claimed 48 Player of the Match awards in 445 games. In a career lasting 22 years, he made over 13,000 runs and also took 323 wickets with his left arm spin.
There are many stunning performances to choose from but Jayasuriya’s 189 in a total of just 299 against India in 2000 is the real highlight.
3. Virat Kohli (India)
If any Indian player can catch Sachin Tendulkar at the top of this list, it will be Virat Kohli. At the time of writing in January 2022 he has 36 Man of the Match awards but has time left to catch the two players above him.
Out of the many highlights, Kohli’s mammoth 183 in an important victory over Pakistan in 2012 is the real standout.
4. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
Many feel that South Africa’s Jacques Kallis was the greatest ever all-rounder in the history of cricket. He could turn a game with bat or ball and those qualities helped him earn 32 Player of the Match awards in 328 ODIs.
It’s tough to pick one stand out performance but Kallis played a pivotal role in an important game. In the Wills Final against West Indies in 1998, he made 37 and returned ODI best figures of 5/30.
5. Ricky Ponting (Australia)
A respected captain of Australia for many years, Ricky Ponting was a world class batsman in all forms of the game. In 375 ODI cricket matches, he won Man of the Match on 32 occasions.
Everyone remembers that stunning game from 2006 where Australia and South Africa both passed 400. Australia lost that day but Ponting was Man of the Match for his brilliant 164.
6. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Another player who could turn the game with bat or ball, Shahid Afridi’s all-round ability earned him 32 Man of the Match awards in a 19-year ODI career.
Afridi’s most complete all-round performance came against the West Indies in 2013 when he made 76 with the bat and returned the stunning figures of 7/12.
7. Vivian Richards (West Indies)
The original Master Blaster fully deserves his place on this list. The great Vivian Richards was Man of the Match 31 times from just 187 ODIs.
There’s a major standout performance from his 11 limited overs hundreds. Against England in 1984, he made a stunning 189 from just 170 deliveries.
8. Sourav Ganguly (India)
India’s elegant left-handed batsman and former captain Sourav Ganguly is next with 31 awards from 311 matches.
Against Sri Lanka at the 1999 World Cup, Ganguly put on 318 for the third wicket with Rahul Dravid and his 183 earned the Man of the Match award.
9. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
Another stylish left-handed batsman slots in at number nine. Kumar Sangakkara claimed 31 awards in 404 ODIs.
He passed a hundred runs on no fewer than 25 occasions and his highest score of 169 came against South Africa in 2013.
10. Brian Lara (West Indies)
The man who holds the record for highest scores in test and first class cricket wasn’t bad in the one day internationals arena either. Brain Lara claimed 30 awards in 299 ODI cricket matches across his career.
His high score of 169 is relatively modest compared to his world record 501 or his highest individual test score 400, but it was enough to earn the Man of the Match medal against Sri Lanka in 1995.
To conclude, it’s worth giving a mention to Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva who also claimed 30 man of the match awards.
His record includes 11 hundreds and a highest score of 145 but, because his 30 awards came from 311 games, he falls behind Brian Lara into 11th place.