Saturday, April 20, 2024

Cricket Ireland: Ireland’s Harry Tector named ICC Men’s Player of the Month for May

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Photo Credit: Ray Lawrence

Irish international Harry Tector has been named International Men’s Player of the Month by the International Cricket Council – the first Irish men’s cricketer to win the prestigious award.

Two Irish women – Laura Delany and Eimear Richardson – have previously won the women’s equivalent award, but Tector is the first to prevail on the men’s side.

Winning players were selected as the standout performers 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.

Tector has been enjoying a sustained period of good batting form in One-Day International (ODI) cricket dating back to July 2022, and his recent run-scoring feats have seen him shoot up to a highest-ever position of seventh spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI batting rankings.

Ireland Men’s home series against Bangladesh in May marked the conclusion of the ICC Super League, and despite failing to secure the whitewash which would have ensured their qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India later this year, Tector once again producing some eye-catching displays of batting.

An unbeaten 21 before the rain intervened in the first outing was followed by Tector’s highlight of the month, a brutal career-best knock of 140 in 113 balls which featured ten sixes and helped Ireland post a formidable total of 319. They were unable to defend the total however, and even in defeat during the final ODI, the Ireland batter contributed strongly with an innings of 45.

The series defeat meant Ireland’s route to the World Cup will need to come via the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe starting in just under a weeks’ time, yet with 206 runs in May, Tector’s form identifies him as a key threat.

Responding to the award, Tector said:

“I’m delighted with the Award and would like to thank those who voted for me, however, cricket is a team sport first-and-foremost, so the Award is more a reflection on the performances and progress of the Ireland Men’s squad. Without the support of Heinrich, Andrew and the dedicated group of coaches and players I work with, I wouldn’t have been able to win this Award.

“While Laura [Delany] and Eimear [Richardson] have won the Women’s equivalent, this is the first time an Irish player has picked up the Men’s Award. While a personal privilege, I believe it won’t be too much longer until more Irish players are being reocgnised this way.

“Thanks to the ICC – but I’m sure you’ll understand that this will only be a brief moment of reflection as we have a crucial Qualifier starting in a matter of days, and our focus will be solely on that over coming weeks.”

Tector wins the award from a competitive field which featured Najmul Hossain Shanto of Bangladesh and current holder of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, Babar Azam of Pakistan. Like Tector, both enjoyed superb run-scoring form in ODIs in May.

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