Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Brook and Gardner crowned ICC Players of the Month for December

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  • England’s Harry Brook wins ICC Men’s Player of the Month award following impressive performances in the ICC World Test Championship series in Pakistan
  • Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner claims the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for her heroics in the T20I series v India in which she becomes top-ranked all-rounder
  • More about the ICC Player of the Month awards is available here

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for December 2022. 

Harry Brook claims his maiden ICC Men’s Player of the Month crown thanks to a blistering run of scores which helped England claim an historic ICC World Test Championship (WTC) series victory in Pakistan. Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner secures the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award as her contributions with bat and ball guided her side to T20I series victory in India, and led her to the summit of the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20 Player Rankings for all-rounders.

Both scoop their awards following a global vote conducted among media representatives, ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and fans registered at icc-cricket.com.

Brook was largely unstoppable during England’s triumphant Test return to Pakistan, scoring centuries in each match as the tourists sealed a 3-0 victory. Despite having only played a solitary Test match before arriving in Pakistan, Brook lit up the series with his aggressive strokeplay and firepower, seamlessly integrating into England’s pioneering style of play in the longer format.

He started the series in Rawalpindi in emphatic fashion, hitting 19 fours and five sixes on his way to a blistering 153 in the first innings, before another quickfire 87 in the second innings ensured Pakistan fell short on a dramatic final day. This set the tone for his breakout month, and he followed up with two further impressive centuries – 108 in Multan and 111 in Karachi.

Brook’s explosive batting style was a driving force behind him breaking the record for most runs by an English batter in a Test series in Pakistan – a record previously held by ICC Hall of Famer David Gower – and he was deservedly identified as the Player of the Series after amassing 468 runs at an average of 93.60 throughout the three-match series.

The 23-year-old wins the December vote from a competitive field of fellow nominees, which included Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australia’s Travis Head, both of whom also produced outstanding batting displays in their WTC outings during the month.

Reacting to his ICC Men’s Player of the Month prize, Brook commented: “It is an honour to have won the ICC Player of the Month for December. To win a Test series 3-0 in Pakistan was an incredible achievement and contributing with the bat in my first Test tour with England was a dream come true. 

“I have to thank my teammates for helping me settle into the environment seamlessly. It is a great team to play in, where we enjoy each other’s company and having fun. Hopefully, our form continues as we start the new year aiming to continue winning series and making a difference in the Test arena.”

Former Zimbabwe international and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member Mpumelelo Mbangwa, added: “Brook’s three hundreds against Pakistan was something quite special. It really was a heralding of his arrival at the top level and the records he broke bear that out. This too in a team with seasoned superstar international players. His star is set to shine brightly and the cricket world will no doubt enjoy watching him.”

Australia’s talented all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner celebrates her maiden ICC Women’s Player of the Month crown to cap a landmark month during which she also hit top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings for all-rounders. 

Gardner’s impressive 2022 ended with a flourish in December as she registered a total of 115 runs at an impressive strike rate of 166.66, taking seven wickets along the way at an average of 18.28 in the hard fought T20I series victory against rivals India. 

After losing the second T20I in the super over, Gardner responded by taking two wickets in each of the three remaining fixtures en route to a 4-1 series victory. She perhaps saved her best all-round performance for the final match. Coming to the crease at 55 for three, she bludgeoned an unbeaten 66 from 32 balls to salvage a defendable total. With ball in hand, she once more took two key wickets, including that of the dangerous Shafali Verma, to restrict India and secure the 54-run victory.

Gardner saw off New Zealand’s Suzie Bates and England’s Charlie Dean to win her first ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for December, and in doing so becomes the fourth Australian female to win the award in 2022 following in the footsteps of Rachael Haynes (who won in March), Alyssa Healy (April) and Tahlia McGrath (July).

On winning the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for December, Gardner commented: “”I’m honoured to have been named Player of the Month for December, especially given there’s so many outstanding cricketers in the game at the moment. 

“Our tour to India was an incredibly memorable one and it was pleasing to be able to come away with a series win in tough conditions. We’ve got an exciting couple of months coming up, so hopefully we can take that form forward into our series against Pakistan and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.”

On Gardner’s success, former Sri Lanka international and voting panel member Farveez Maharoof added: “Gardner is a deserved ICC Women’s Player of the Month for her all-round performances in a winning cause against a strong Indian team. She scored valuable runs at an impressive strike rate, and alongside her impressive bowling average, it is easy to see why she is the top-ranked women’s all-rounder in T20Is.”

Fans can continue to vote every month for their favourite male and female cricketers across all formats of international cricket as part of the ICC Player of the Month initiative by registering at www.icc-cricket.com/awards.

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