Proteas women fast bowler Shabnim Ismail has been named ICC Women’s Player of the Month for January for her performances in South Africa’s series triumph over Pakistan.
Ismail was nominated for the newly-introduced award alongside team-mate Marizanne Kapp and Pakistan bowler Diana Baig.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the introduction of the monthly awards, which will "recognise and celebrate the best performances of both male and female cricketers across all forms" throughout the year.
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"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," said Ismail in a ICC press release.
An independent ICC Voting Academy comprising of former players, broadcasters, and journalists from around the world, with fans also having a vote for the ICC Men’s and Women’s Player of the Month.
Commenting on Ismail’s inaugural 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."
India batsman Rishabh Pant won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for January for his performances in the two Tests against Australia.
Pant scored a 97 at Sydney and an unbeaten 89 at Brisbane that led India to a historic series win against arch-rivals Australia.
"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," said Pant on his award.
"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."
Commenting on Pant being awarded the inaugural ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award, 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."
- Compiled by Sport24 staff