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Monday, July 15, 2024

ICC reveals player of month nominees for June


 The International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed the shortlists of nominees for the ICC Player of the Month awards in celebration of the outstanding performers from international competition in June.

The ICC Men’s Player of the Month shortlist honours two stars of India’s thrilling T20 World Cup victory in the USA and West Indies, alongside an architect of Afghanistan’s historic campaign.

India’s frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah swept the ICC Player of the Tournament after scintillating displays of fast bowling throughout June, earning his third nomination for the Player of the Month awards.

His compatriot Rohit Sharma skippered India to their first ICC silverware in 13 years and is shortlisted having topped his side’s runscoring charts.

Completing the lineup is Afghanistan’s electric opening batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who lit up the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, ending as the tournament’s top run-getter.

The ICC Women’s Player of the Month shortlist contains a trio of outstanding international performers from last month’s action.

England batter Maia Bouchier will be hoping to win her second Women’s Player of the Month award after making valuable contributions with the bat during her side’s triumphant ODI series victory over New Zealand in June.

Sri Lanka’s Vishmi Gunaratne was the star of their home ODI series against West Indies, scooping the Player of the Series award.

The final nominee is India’s Smriti Mandhana, seeking to win her first ICC Women’s Player of the Month crown thanks to a stellar showing with the bat against South Africa.

An independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world will now be invited to cast their votes to decide the winners, which will be announced next week.

Boasting 15 wickets during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at a breathtaking average of 8.26, Bumrah excelled in spearheading India’s bowling efforts throughout their trophy-winning campaign in the USA and West Indies.

The 30-year-old proved to be the key weapon for India, restricting the flow of runs and taking important wickets at crucial times in their surge to glory, highlighted through his Player of the Match-worthy three for 14 against Pakistan in New York and more decisively in the final against South Africa in Barbados, where he took two for 18 in a match-winning spell which turned the fortunes in India’s favour.

Capping a superb month, Bumrah walked away with the Player of the Tournament prize.

Afghanistan celebrated their first ever semi-final at an ICC event last month, and among the standout figures for the side during this historic run was opening batter Gurbaz.

The 22-year-old started the tournament briskly with half-centuries against Uganda (76 in 45 balls) and New Zealand (80 in 56 balls), and despite a quieter set of scores that followed, regained momentum at just the right time, making pivotal contributions as his side defeated Australia and Bangladesh to secure their progress to the final four.

Gurbaz ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer with 281 runs, and will hope to make more history as the first winner of the ICC Player of the Month from Afghanistan.

India’s leading man Rohit Sharma good was once again an inspirational figure atop the batting order and in the role of captain as his side ended their 13-year wait for World Cup silverware.

Hitting 257 runs in the tournament with trademark aggression and flair, Rohit was India’s highest scorer, posting solid totals in their wins over Ireland in New York (52 not out), Australia in St Lucia (92) and England (57) in the semi-final encounter in Guyana.

Their remarkable campaign culminated in the nail biting win over South Africa, where Rohit’s side became the first unbeaten team to lift the T20 World Cup trophy.

A winner back in March, Maia Bouchier continued her fine international form in June with high scores against a touring New Zealand team in the ODI format.

The first encounter saw the opener hit 67 in a match-winning partnership with Tammy Beaumont in Durham, before notching her maiden international century (100 in 88 balls) in a comfortable eight-wicket victory in Worcester.

Thanks to her efforts, England took an unassailable 2-0 series lead with Bouchier winning the Player of the Series plaudits.

Sri Lanka’s 18-year-old Vishmi Gunaratne prodigy continues to revel in the world of international cricket after making her debut at just 16 back in 2022. The opener featured in six games during the month but made her most telling impact in the ODI series against West Indies, hitting consecutive scores of 40, 50 and 44 as Sri Lanka sealed a statement 3-0 victory over the tourists.

Also named the Player of the Series, she hit a total of 195 runs during the month, including T20I matches that followed.

Nominated only once before back in September 2022, Smriti Mandhana seeks to win her maiden ICC Women’s Player of the Month award following a landmark spell of exceptional runscoring in India’s ODI series sweep of South Africa.

The opener started the series with a dominant 117, and followed up with 136 in 120 balls in the thrilling second match – her highest score in the 50-over format. A 90 in the third encounter sealed the 3-0 scoreline, and earned Mandhana another Player of the Series prize.

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