ICC Player Of The Month | Sportzwiki

ICC Player Of The Month

Shadab Khan and Asif Ali. Pic: t20worldcup.com
Shadab Khan and Asif Ali. Pic: t20worldcup.com
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Shadab Khan Isn’t Surprised With Finisher Asif Ali’s Batting Prowess In T20I WC 2021

Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s vice-captain, has stated that he is least surprised with Asif Ali’s success as a late-order hitter in the T20 World Cup 2021. According to the leg-spinner Shadab Khan, he has seen Asif Ali achieve similar feats in domestic and franchise cricket, so he was always aware of the batter’s striking potential.

Asif Ali smashed an unbeaten 27 off 12 balls against New Zealand and followed it up with 25* off 7 against Afghanistan, which included four sixes in an over. In both matches, the 30-year-old lifted Pakistan to victory from tense circumstances.

Asif Ali.
Asif Ali. File Photo.

Shadab Khan: Confident And In Form Asif Ali Can Play Like That

Shadab Khan, who was at the non-striker’s end when Asif Ali clobbered Afghanistan pacer Karim Janat for four sixes, said he was a bit angry at his partner when he refused a single during the closing stages of the match.

However, speaking to t20worldcup.com, the leggie Shadab Khan admitted: “I knew he has more power than me. He’s done it so many times in domestic cricket also. I have seen him play for Islamabad United. When he is in good form and has the confidence, he can play like that. He is a great player and now, thank God, he is performing at the international level as well. He has done so much hard work, and now it’s paying off.”

Shadab Khan (File Photo)
Shadab Khan (File Photo)

Asif Ali Never Stopped Working Hard, And His Dream Is To Win The 2021 T20I WC

30-year-old Asif Ali has not been a constant fixture in the Pakistan team, and nothing extraordinary was expected of him when he was chosen in the T20 World Cup 2021 squad.

Asked how he prepared for the tournament, the big-hitting batter explained: “I never stopped working hard. I played domestic tournaments and many leagues. There is nothing extra special about me or my talent.”

Asif Ali. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Asif Ali. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

On the four sixes he hit against Afghanistan, he asserted that he had the confidence to pull it off.

Asif Ali said: “I had planned with Shoaib (Malik) that we would attack in the next over. I felt I could finish the game and I did the same. There was a single on offer but I refused it.”

Asif Ali signed off saying that he wants already qualified Pakistan to win the World Cup to give the fans some joy.

He concluded: “The performances have been very good because we have been playing as a unit. My dream is to win the World Cup and give more joy to our fans back home.”

Having already qualified for the semi-finals, Pakistan will take on Scotland in their last Super 12 encounter in Sharjah on Sunday. Big-hitting Asif Ali was nominated along with David Wiese and Shakib Al Hasan in ICC Player Of The Month Award.

Pakistan recently played four intense T20 matches and emerged victorious against teams that put up a great fight. Two of those wins, against New Zealand and Afghanistan, were credited to the stellar performance of Asif Ali in the final overs.

The undefeated team has now pledged to dedicate their possible T20 World Cup win to Asif Ali’s late daughter, Noor Fatima.  The cricketer lost his 18-month-old daughter to blood cancer back in 2019. The child passed away after a prolonged fight against fourth-stage cancer while Asif Ali was on a month-long tour with the team in England.

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Joe Root And Eimear Richardson Voted Winners Of ICC Player Of August Month

Joe Root, England skipper and Ireland star Eimear Richardson have been voted winners of the ICC Player of the Month for August. Joe Root saw off competition from Jasprit Bumrah, the India pacer, and Pakistan speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi to win the award following a stellar August for the England captain.

Joe Root scored 507 runs in three Tests against India in August. He scored three important centuries, including an unbeaten 180* at Lord’s, and the form propelled him to the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for batters. The five-match series ended abruptly when the final Test had to be cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root Was Impressive With The Bat Leading England From The Front: JP Duminy

Joe Root had scored more runs (507) in the first three Tests than England’s next three highest run-scorers combined and had also been their highest individual scorer in each of their five innings. He scored three centuries, 109 in Trent Bridge, an unbeaten 180 in Lord’s, and 121 at his home ground in Headingley, which resulted in an England win.

“With the expectation and responsibility on his shoulders as the captain, I was really impressed with how he led from the front with the bat, and become the number one ranked Test batter in the world,” said former South Africa all-rounder JP Duminy, one of the panellists in the ICC Voting Academy.

Virat Kohli, Joe Root
Virat Kohli, Joe Root

On the back of his stunning display in August, Joe Root climbed to the top of ICC Men’s Test Rankings for batters on September 1. Placed fifth in the rankings before the start of the series, the England skipper had leapfrogged Virat Kohli, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, and Kane Williamson to the No.1 spot.

Eimear Richardson Of Ireland Put In A Fine All-Round Display In Women’s T20 WC Europe Qualifier

In the women’s award, Eimear Richardson saw off tough competition from teammate Gaby Lewis and Thailand’s Nattaya Boochatham.  Eimear Richardson put in a fine all-round display in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier last month, which led her to be named the Player of the Tournament.

She took seven wickets at an economy rate of 4.19 in the tournament, including important spells of 2/6 in the opener against Germany and 2/24 against group-toppers Scotland. She also returned 2/0 and 1/22 against France and Netherlands respectively, as Ireland came second in their group.

Her contributions went beyond the ball. She scored a crucial 49-ball 53 in their final match against the Netherlands and totalled 76 runs in the tournament – a return that put her in the top five of the run charts.

“It was very exciting to be nominated for the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for August and to now be voted as the winner is just so amazing and humbling,” Richardson said.

“It was great to contribute to overall team performances at the European Qualifiers and hopefully we have done enough to make the next stage and compete on a global level again.”

Joe Root, Elmear Richardson, ICC Player Of The Month August 2021
Joe Root, Elmear Richardson, ICC Player Of The Month August 2021

Her performances were lauded by Pommie Mbangwa of the ICC Voting Academy.

“What an amazing and important contribution in a tournament that is important to all the teams, “he said. 

“What any team wants is for players to stand up at critical times and Eimear’s contributions with bat and ball have come at the right time, been consistent and particularly significant.”

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and West Indies women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor were the winners of the ICC Player of the Month in July.

Shakib, Marsh, Walsh
Shakib, Marsh, Walsh
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Shakib Al Hasan, Mitchell Marsh And Hayden Walsh Jr. Nominated For ICC Player Of Month For July 2021

Shakib Al Hasan, the all-rounder of Bangladesh, Australia’s all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, and West Indies leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr were nominated for the ICC Player of the Month Awards for July 2021 in the men’s category. International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the nominees for the ICC Player of the Month Awards for July 2021 to recognize the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.

The Player Of the Month Award was instituted in January this year to recognize the best international performances across formats for male and female cricketers. The nominees for the monthly men’s awards this time are Shakib Al Hasan (BAN), Mitchell Marsh (AUS), and Hayden Walsh Jr (WI) while Hayley Matthews (WI), Fatima Sana (PAK) and Stafanie Taylor (WI) figure in the women’s shortlist.

Shakib Al Hasan contributed to all three formats of the game as Bangladesh won the series against Zimbabwe last month. - REUTERS
Shakib Al Hasan contributed to all three formats of the game as Bangladesh won the series against Zimbabwe last month. – REUTERS

Mitchell Marsh Was Australia’s Leading Run Scorer And Wicket Taker In T20Is Against West Indies

Mitchell Marsh, Australia was the backbone of the Australian T20I set-up against the West Indies after a promotion to bat at number three worked wonders. In the Caribbean, Mitchell Marsh amassed 219 runs in five T20Is at an average of 43.80 that included three half-centuries.

His bowling too was at par with his batting as he claimed 8 wickets with an economy of 6.76. Mitchell Marsh ended the series as the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker for Australia.

Mitchell Marsh
Mitchell Marsh (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh is another all-rounder to make the nominations who was consistent across formats versus Zimbabwe. In the one-off Test, Shakib Al Hasan snared a total of five wickets, followed by a five-wicket haul in the first ODI and he ended as the highest wicket-taker in the series with 8 scalps.

His purple patch followed him in the next match this time with the bat as he blazed to an unbeaten 96* and completed a tricky chase and series win against Zimbabwe.

Hayden Walsh Jr. Ended As The Leading Wicket Taker In Both ODIs And T20Is Against Australia

Hayden Walsh Jr. picked 19 scalps in 13 ODIs, and 23 scalps in 26 T20Is. He has represented two countries-USA in 2019 and West Indies. He played 9 matches for the USA and 30 matches for West Indies.

West Indies' Hayden Walsh Jr. (Source: AP)
West Indies’ Hayden Walsh Jr. (Source: AP)

Hayden Walsh Jr, West Indies, the right-arm wrist-spinner had a sensational time with the white ball. In the five T20Is and three-match ODI series against Australia, Hayden Walsh Jr never went wicketless in any game.  He thus ended as the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies in both the ODIs and T20Is – 7 wickets in ODIs, which included his maiden five-wicket haul and 12 scalps in T20Is.

Mushfiqur Rahim plays a shot against Sri Lanka. - AFP
Mushfiqur Rahim plays a shot against Sri Lanka. - AFP
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Mushfiqur Rahim And Kathryn Bryce Named ICC Players Of May 2021

Mushfiqur Rahim was the top scorer in the recently-concluded three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. Woman All-rounder Kathryn Bryce is the first player from Scotland – male or female – to make it to the top 10 of the batting or bowling lists in the ICC Player Rankings.

Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and Scotland all-rounder Kathryn Bryce have been named the ICC Players of the Months respectively male and female for May 2021. Both cricketers have received the awards following exemplary performances for their teams recently.

Mushfiqur Rahim (L), Kathryn Bryce (R) voted ICC Players of the Month for May 2021(HT Collage)
Mushfiqur Rahim (L), Kathryn Bryce (R) voted ICC Players of the Month for May 2021(HT Collage)

Mushfiqur Rahim Has Not Lost His Appetite For Run Making: VVS Laxman

Mushfiqur Rahim was the top scorer in the recently-concluded 3-match ODI series against Sri Lanka at home. He scored 237 runs in the three matches and helped Bangladesh win their first ODI series against Sri Lanka by scoring 125 in the second ODI.

Commenting on Rahim’s performance in May, VVS Laxman representing the ICC Voting Academy added: “Even after 15 years at the highest level, Mushfiqur has not lost his appetite for run-making.

“He was at his imperious best in the one-day series at home against Sri Lanka, a picture of consistency with the highlight being 125 in the second match which helped his side secure a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.”

Mushfiqur Rahim scored 237 runs in 3 ODIs against Sri Lanka with the top score of 125
Mushfiqur Rahim scored 237 runs in 3 ODIs against Sri Lanka with the top score of 125

“What made his feat even more notable was that it was Bangladesh’s first-ever ODI series triumph against the 1996 World Cup champions. To shore up the middle order and don the wicket-keeping gloves speaks volumes of his fitness and skills,” he added.

Mushfiqur Rahim has chosen to skip the T20I series during the Zimbabwe visit one month from now. He has informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board about his choice. This is the first run through Mushfiqur Rahim has requested a break in his international vocation up from when he has been injured. Since making his first appearance in 2005, he has addressed Bangladesh in 74 Tests, 227 ODIs, and 86 T20I games.

Kathryn Bryce Batted With Flair And Bowled Well Too: Ramiz Raja

All-rounder Kathryn Bryce is the first player from Scotland – male or female – to make it to the top 10 of the batting or bowling lists in the ICC Player Rankings released recently. Kathryn Bryce played four T20Is against Ireland where she scored 96 runs and took 5 wickets with an economy rate of 4.76 in the month of May.

Commenting on Kathryn’s performance in May, Ramiz Raja representing the ICC Voting Academy said, “Kathryn’s all-round game came through in a series that her team lost. She batted with flair and bowled well too and deserved to be the player of the month for May.”

Kathryn Bryce - ICC Women's Player of the Month for May 2021
Kathryn Bryce – ICC Women’s Player of the Month for May 2021

The three nominees for both categories were shortlisted based on on-field performances and overall achievements during the month (the first to the last day of each calendar month).

The shortlist is then voted on by the independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world. The ICC Voting Academy comprises prominent members of the cricket family including senior journalists, former players, broadcasters, and members of the ICC Hall of Fame.

The Voting Academy submit their votes by email and retain a 90 per cent share of the vote. Additionally, fans registered with the ICC are able to vote via the ICC website once the shortlisted players are announced and have a 10 per cent share of the vote. Winners are announced every second Monday of the month via the ICC’s digital channels.

The ICC Player of the Month is a monthly award presented since January 2021 by the International Cricket Council to recognize cricketers, male and female, that have best performed across all forms of international cricket. Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, and Babar Azam have been previous recipients.