The title is awarded by the Finnish Sportswriters’ Association and the inclusion on the list also opens the possibility of a Finnish cricket player being voted as the Athlete of the Year in Finland.
After its establishment in 1947, the recipients of the coveted award have been most often Nordic skiers or athletes, with notable exceptions having been made for special prowess in motorsports and more recently football. In addition to the main award, the Sportswriters’ Association selects the Team of the Year, the Coach of the Year, and the Junior Athlete of the Year in Finland. The nomination process includes sports journalists voting on short-listed candidates with a possibility of write-in candidates being added.
The Athlete of the Year is also awarded from each sport included on the list, and the prize for the best Finnish cricketer will be awarded by the Sportswriters’ Association based on individual performances in both domestic and international competitions.
“We’re striving to make cricket a mainstream sport in Finland and being included on the list means that sometime in the future we might see a current junior cricketer recognised as one of the top athletes in Finland”, says Chairman Andrew Armitage from Cricket Finland.
Finnish cricket gained publicity in 2020 when the Finnish Premier League was the second domestic competition to start after the first wave of COVID-19 had subsided. The men’s national team, Finnish Bears, is preparing for the next round of Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers by playing T20 Internationals; the recent four-match series with Sweden, played in Finland some two months ago, finished in a 2-2 tie and propelled Finland to 57th in the MRF ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings.
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