The ICC had announced the first of its kind awards last month for the players who performed exceptionally well inside the duration of that month
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced winners of the Player of the Month Award on Monday, which will be given to the players both male and female to recognise the achievements of the cricketers who have performed exceptionally well in a particular month.
In January, ICC while inaugurating the award had announced 10 nominations across male and female cricketers. India's wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and left everyone in the race, even the England skipper who scored 426 runs in four innings against Sri Lanka, to win the prestigious award.
Pant, who was the top run-scorer for the visiting Indian side, amassing 274 runs in the three games he played starred with a 97 at the SCG and an unbeaten 89 at the Gabba in the final Test. His second knock helped Team India breach the fortress 'Gabbatoire' and complete an immaculate series win against the Aussies.
A month to remember Down Under for @RishabhPant17 and IndiaFebruary 8, 2021
Congratulations to the inaugural winner of the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award
Interestingly, Pant was the clear winner in the DNA poll conducted last month, where he was the highest voted player for the award, for which Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj and T Natarajan were also nominated for the same.
South Africa's Shabnim Ismail won the ICC Women Player of the Month Award, who starred for her team in the three ODIs and two T20Is against Pakistan. Ismail took seven wickets in the ODI series, while took a fifer in the second T20I to take her name to the top of the nominations list to bag the award.
Former Pakistan cricketer and now a commentator, Ramiz Raja representing the ICC Voting Academy said, “Both times Pant played under pressure in two different sets of challenges: to draw a game and to win a game. He showed his versatility of skills in both knocks, the clincher being his temperament.”
Commenting on his award win, the left-handed batsman said, “I am delighted to be receiving the inaugural ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award. For any sportsperson, contributing to a team win is the ultimate reward but such initiatives help motivate youngsters such as myself to do better each time. I dedicate this award to every member of Team India that contributed to our victory in Australia and also thank all my fans who voted for me.”
While commenting on Ismail bagging the ICC Women’s Player of the Month Award, Mpumelelo Mbangwa representing the ICC Voting Academy said, “Ismail reached a hundred T20I wickets in their series against Pakistan. She leads the way and is the first South African to reach the milestone. With her pace and aggression, she continues to lead the South African women’s team’s bowling attack admirably. She is a joy to watch in action.”
Shabnim Ismail reacting to her win said, “Winning the ICC Women’s Player of the Month in January just shows that all the hard work I put in during the lockdown has paid off for me. This accolade would not have been possible if it were not for my teammates and I am grateful and thankful for all your support. Also, to all my fans and friends all around the world thank you very much for the vote, it really meant a lot to me. And lastly, a special thanks to also my family who have been there for me and supported me all through the way.”