Head and Akter voted ICC Players of the Month for November

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Photo Credit: ICC

Australia’s Travis Head wins maiden Men’s Player of the Month crown following ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup knockout heroics
•    Nahida Akter of Bangladesh also claims her first Women’s Player of the Month prize following strong bowling displays in ODI series triumph over Pakistan
•    More about the ICC Player of the Month awards is available here.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today revealed the ICC Men’s and Women’s Player of the Month award winners for November 2023 after shortlists were announced on Thursday last week.

Australia’s Travis Head is crowned the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for November after orchestrating their memorable march to Cricket World Cup glory with Player of the Match contributions in both the semi-final win over South Africa, and the blockbuster final victory over India in Ahmedabad.

Spin maestro Nahida Akter lost out in October’s voting, but clinches the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for November for her wicket-taking exploits during last month’s competitive ODI series victory over Pakistan on home soil.

Head was nominated for his first ICC Men’s Player of the Month award back in June 2023 for his role as chief architect in Australia’s ICC World Test Championship Final victory over India. He goes one better this month, winning the award after two remarkable performances in the knockout stages inspired their sixth Men’s Cricket World Cup title.

South Africa were the first opponents to be undone by Head’s brilliance in the semi-final showdown in Kolkata. Bowling first, the spinner removed the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen in consecutive balls, limiting the Proteas score to a modest 212. With bat in hand, the opener then set a brisk pace in response, and top scored with 62 from 48 balls as Australia chased down the target with three wickets in hand.

His crowning glory however came in the final triumph over India. An economical bowling display and a phenomenal running catch in the outfield to dismiss Rohit Sharma preceded an outstanding performance with the bat that clinched the silverware.

With 241 set for victory, Head cemented his growing reputation as a player for the big occasion by hitting a sparkling 137 in 120 balls to see Australia overcome the tournament hosts.

Reacting to his award win, Head commented, “It’s been an incredible 12 months for the team which it has been a real privilege to be a part of. The way we have navigated a home summer, away trips to India, England, South Africa, India and the World Cup has been great credit to Pat, the players and the staff.

“I was fortunate that they kept the faith in me for the World Cup after breaking my hand, so it was a great opportunity for me to pay them back. I felt the World Cup was amongst the best I have ever batted, so maybe having a rest before every campaign is the key.

“It’s a great honour to be recognised with this award, but it is a team effort. Without my team-mates across all formats this wouldn’t have happened; so these types of awards are as much for them as they are for me.”

Nahida Akter also celebrates her maiden Player of the Month crown after tearing through opposition batters in her side’s closely fought victory over Pakistan in Mirpur last month.

The first ODI encounter of the series saw Akter claim three wickets for 30 with a consistent spell of pressure bowling. With Pakistan chasing down a lowly 82 for victory, the spinner kept the contest competitive, claiming the wickets of Sidra Ameen, Bismah Maroof and Aliya Riaz to trouble the tourists in their charge to victory.

A quieter second match followed before Akter once more starred in the decisive third fixture. A superb economical 10-over spell produced three wickets for 26 runs as the tourists stumbled to 166 for nine in their 50 overs, laying the foundations for Akter’s teammates to seal the series with the bat in a seven-wicket victory.

Akter claimed the Player of the Series accolade after having taken seven wickets at an impressive average of 14.14 across the three matches.

ICC Women’s Player of the Month, Akter said, “This is a moment to cherish. To be recognised by such a distinguished panel of cricket experts means a lot and winning the ICC Women Player of the Month award will be a massive source of inspiration and motivation for me.

“We have played some amazing cricket in recent months and I am so happy to have contributed to the successes we have tasted as a team. I must thank my captain, coaches and teammates for always believing in me and that has allowed me to play my natural game against quality opponents and perform under pressure.”

Head and Akter emerged victorious from a process which gathered votes from global fans registered at icc-cricket.com and a specialist panel comprising ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and media representatives.

Head overcame fellow World Cup winner Glenn Maxwell and record-breaking Indian bowler Mohammed Shami to claim the November crown, while Akter wins from two other stars of the same series, compatriot Fargana Hoque and Pakistan’s Sadia Iqbal.

Fans can continue to vote every month for their favourite 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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