Wednesday, February 1, 2023

ICC confirms contenders for December Player of the Month Awards

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  • Prolific Test batters form the shortlist for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for December; Babar Azam (Pakistan), Harry Brook (England) and Travis Head (Australia)
  • Shorter format superstars are honoured on the women’s shortlist; Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Charlie Dean (England) and Ashleigh Gardner (Australia)
  • More about the ICC Player of the Month awards is available here

The ICC has today revealed the names shortlisted for the Player of the Month awards for December 2022, casting light on the outstanding performers across men’s and women’s international cricket during the month.

The shortlist for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for December features three batters who piled on the runs during ICC World Test Championship (WTC) battles last month. 

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is nominated and seeks his third Player of the Month crown following a fruitful month at the crease, with two centuries in home Tests against England and New Zealand. England’s Harry Brook is shortlisted thanks to a breakout month with the bat, scoring centuries in each of their Tests during the 3-0 series victory in Pakistan. The final contender is Australia’s Travis Head, who excelled in their WTC series against both West Indies and South Africa, scoring consistently throughout.

The nominees for the ICC Women’s Player of the Month all enjoyed remarkable form during their respective short format series during December.

New Zealand icon Suzie Bates celebrates her first nomination for the award after a glut of runs helped her team secure T20I and ODI series victories over Bangladesh. Charlie Dean is shortlisted for the award after her superb form inspired England on their successful white-ball tour of West Indies. The lineup is completed by Ashleigh Gardner, whose brilliance for Australia in their T20I series victory against India helped her reach the summit of the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player rankings for all-rounders.

An independent ICC Voting Academy* and fans around the world can now vote to decide the winners, which will be announced next week. Fans registered at icc-cricket.com/awards are invited to cast their votes until Sunday.

ICC Men’s Player of the Month Nominees for December:

Babar Azam (PAK)

Pakistan’s influential skipper is no stranger to ICC Men’s Player of the Month nominations. Having won the award on two previous occasions (April 2021 and March 2022), Azam is in line to win his third prize after another prolific month in the recent WTC series against England which carried into the subsequent series against New Zealand. In the four Tests played during the month, he scored 523 runs at an average of 65.37, top scoring for his side in five out of eight innings. Among the highlights from his showstopping month were scores of 136 against England in Rawalpindi, and 161 scored in the first Test v New Zealand at Karachi.

Harry Brook (ENG)

England’s 3-0 series victory in Pakistan featured several fine individual performances, but Brook arguably provided the most important contributions during their landmark success. In what was only his second-ever Test match, the England youngster dazzled in Rawalpindi with scores of 153 and 87 to claim a historic victory and set the tone for the rest of the series. Eventually, Brook finished the series having scored centuries in each of the three Tests, registering a total of 468 runs at an average of 93.60 to earn him his first nomination for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award.

Travis Head (AUS)

A number of crucial performances in Australia’s recent WTC series against touring West Indies and South African sides characterised Travis Head’s month. His 99 in the first Test against the West Indies was followed by an epic 175 in the second to seal the series win, but arguably his most important innings was reserved for the first Test against a blistering South African pace attack. His 92 in the first innings came as most of the others around him faltered, earning him the Player of the Match award in the four-wicket win. Head ended the month having scored 455 runs at an average of 91.00, picking up two wickets along the way.

ICC Women’s Player of the Month Nominees for December: 

Suzie Bates (NZ)

Bates has so often been at the forefront of the White Ferns success in recent years, and her performances in December personified her prowess in the short formats. A key figure in both the ODI and T20I successes against Bangladesh, her highlight came as she scored a graceful 93 not out in the first 50-over match. With 223 runs across both series, the New Zealand opener has her first nomination for the ICC Women’s Player of the Month crown.

Charlie Dean (ENG)

England enjoyed a dominant series of results over the West Indies in last month’s ODI and T20I encounters, and Dean was a constant threat with the ball as she claimed 18 wickets across both formats in December. The leading wicket-taker in both series, Dean took four wickets on two separate occasions. Alongside her impressive strike rate, she also boasted an astonishing economy rate – 2.92 in ODIs and 4.64 in T20Is, further highlighting her restrictive impact on opposition batters.

Ashleigh Gardner (AUS)

Gardner rose to the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player rankings for all-rounders in December after her heroics with bat and ball inspired Australia to a 4-1 T20I series victory in India. Also celebrating her maiden nomination for the Player of the Month award, Gardner’s month culminated in 115 runs at an average of 57.50 and seven wickets at 18.28. She saved perhaps her best performance for the final game, scoring an unbeaten 66 to save a stuttering Australian innings before two crucial wickets, including that of the dangerous Shafali Verma, helped restrict the home team to fall short by 54 runs.

The ICC Player of the Month Voting Process: 

The three nominees for either category are shortlisted based on performances from 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 fraternity including well-known journalists, former players, broadcasters and members of the ICC Hall of Fame. The Voting Academy submit their votes by email and hold a 90 per cent share of the vote. Fans registered with the ICC can vote via the ICC website, accounting for the remaining 10 per cent. Winners are announced every second Monday of the month on ICC’s digital channels. 

Voting Academy for ICC Player of the Month December 2022*: 

Afghanistan: Hameed Qayoomi and Javed Hamim; Australia: Melinda Farrell and Lisa Sthalekar; Bangladesh: Mohammad Sekander Ali and Md Ariful Islam Roney; England: Elizabeth Ammon and Lydia Greenway; Ireland: Ger Siggins and Clare Shillington; India: Lavanya Lakshmi Narayanan and Irfan Pathan; New Zealand: Jordan Oppert and Craig Cumming; Pakistan: Sawera Pasha and Sana Mir; South Africa: Zaahier Adams and JP Duminy; Sri Lanka: Azzam Ameen and Farveez Maharoof; West Indies: Daren Ganga and Merissa Aguilleira; Zimbabwe: Daniel Nhakaniso and Mpumelelo Mbangwa; Others: Ajit Vijaykumar and Dirk Nannes.

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