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Star all-rounders Shakib and Ishimwe clinch ICC Player of the Month awards for March

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Photo Credit: ICC

  • Bangladesh’s top-ranked all-rounder wins ICC Men’s Player of the Month for the second time after series-winning exploits against England and Ireland
  • Rwandan star Henriette Ishimwe overcomes PNG duo to seal Women’s Player of the Month
  • 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 March 2023, with Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan scooping the ICC Men’s Player of the Month, and Rwanda’s Henriette Ishimwe named the ICC Women’s Player of the Month.

Both all-rounders edged out their fellow contenders following a vote conducted among a specialist panel – comprising ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and media representatives – and global cricket fans registered at icc-cricket.com, who had been voting since the nominees were announced last week.

In claiming the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for March, Shakib wins his second Player of the Month crown after first winning back in July 2021. He triumphs following a string of fine displays  with bat and ball, cementing his position at the summit of the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings for all-rounders. As well as an impressive series win over Ireland, Shakib was instrumental in securing an historic 3-0 T20I series victory over touring world champions England.

All-rounder Ishimwe started the year at the heart of the Rwandan team that lit up the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa. Her breakout tournament included a memorable four wickets in four balls in the win over Zimbabwe, and she carried that form into the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) Women’s T20I Tournament last month. 92 runs and 9 wickets in March, which included another hattrick sees her become only the second female from an Associate Member to win the ICC Player of the Month award.

ICC Men’s Player of the Month, March 2023 – Shakib Al Hasan

With 12 short format games throughout the month, Bangladesh had plenty of game-time in March, and their formidable short-format maestro Shakib was once again a key contributor to their success against England and Ireland.

Opening the month with an ODI series against England, the all-rounder registered two half-centuries, the second of which coming in a familiar scintillating all-round display. A consolation win in Chattogram was inspired by Shakib, first thanks to his 75 in 71 balls and then with the ball as he took four for 35 in ten overs to seal a 50-run win.

In the T20I series that followed, Shakib skippered his side to a decisive 3-0 victory, with valuable runs in the first encounter, and key wickets across all three matches, in a string of impressive team displays characterised by excellent fielding and disciplined bowling.

No fewer than four days separated England’s departure and the first ODI against Ireland, and Shakib once more took up the task with aplomb, top scoring with 93 in 89 balls as Bangladesh comfortably won by 183 runs, setting the tone for another series victory.

His final performances in the month came in the form of three T20Is against Ireland, and Bangladesh sealed the series thanks to another outstanding display from the top-ranked all-rounder. A quickfire 38 from 24 balls rocketed the hosts to 202 for 3 from their 20 overs, before Shakib’s bowling prowess dismantled the Ireland chase with a brilliant five for 22 from his four overs.

Reflecting on another ICC Men’s Player of the Month prize, Shakib added, “I am honoured to win the award and would like to thank the expert panellists who have voted for me. This is a recognition I greatly value because there are so many special performances in a month from a number of amazing cricketers.

“If I was to pick my highlight from the past month, it has to be the T20 series sweep against England and, with the team continuing to perform beautifully as a unit in all departments, it is easier for me now to concentrate on my role and contribute.”

Shakib overcame fellow nominees Asif Khan of UAE and Kane Williamson of New Zealand in the global vote, and former Sri Lanka international Farveez Maharoof elaborated on Shakib’s win, “Shakib gets my vote for his overall contribution to Bangladesh’s success last month, notably beating a top side like England.

“While all three candidates have enjoyed excellent periods, for me he has been the standout player and a deserving Men’s Player of the Month for March.”

ICC Women’s Player of the Month, March 2023 – Henriette Ishimwe

Ishimwe’s blistering start to 2023 at the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup helped her make a name for herself on the world stage, and a little over two months later, she finds herself in the headlines again after enjoying plenty of success in March’s NCF Women’s T20I Tournament in Lagos.

The 20-year-old was the star player in Rwanda’s opening match against Ghana, firstly coming in at number three and smashing a brisk 32 in 22 balls. Defending a healthy total, Ishimwe and her fellow bowlers then took apart the reply, taking wickets at regular intervals and ending with a flourish, as the pacer took another hattrick to end the game and seal a 117-run victory.

Despite a quieter display with the ball in the next match against Sierra Leone, Ishimwe contributed significantly once more by top scoring at the crease and steering her side home in a five-wicket win.

She saved her most complete performance for the third and final fixture in the calendar month against Cameroon. Coming to the crease early on, Ishimwe starred in a 90-run partnership with her namesake Gisele Ishimwe, and her 43 in 33 balls steered her side to a competitive total. Cameroon faltered in their reply, and Ishimwe took advantage – her full, straight pace bowling securing a five-wicket haul for 6 runs conceded, cementing her status as an eye-catching prospect in the women’s game.

Reacting to her award win, Ishimwe commented, “I am humbled and honored to win this award for my performances in the last month.

“I owe this award to the many people who have supported me throughout my journey in cricket. To my coaches, who have invested countless hours into my training and development, to my teammates, who have been my source of inspiration and motivation, and to my family and friends, who have always stood by me, and above all, the almighty God, who has made all this possible.

“I look forward to continuing to contribute to the world of cricket and win more matches for my country.”

Ishimwe emerged victorious in the voting process, beating Sibona Jimmy and Ravini Oa (both PNG), who were shortlisted based on strong performances in the Pacific Island Women’s Cricket Challenge.

Former South Africa international and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member, Ashwell Prince added, “Henriette boasts some incredible statistics from her games in March and it’s clear to see that she’s a talented prospect in the women’s game. In what is a really exciting time for women’s cricket, I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops in the years to come.”

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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