Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman nominated for ICC Player of the Month
Dubai: Pakistan batsmen Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman were on Wednesday nominated for the ICC ‘Player of the Month’ award for April following their stupendous performance in the limited-overs series against South Africa.
The ICC on Wednesday announced the nominees to recognise the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket and for the first time, the list didn’t feature any Indian.
Besides the Pakistan duo, Nepal batsman Khushal Bhurtel was the other player to be nominated in the men’s category, the ICC stated in a media release.
The nominees among the women’s cricketers comprised the Australian duo of Alyssa Healy and Megan Schutt and New Zealand’s Leigh Kasperek.
Last month, Pakistan captain Babar had become the No.1 ranked batsman in the ICC ODI Player Rankings, ending India captain Virat Kohli’s long reign at the top of the charts.
Babar’s match-winning 82-ball 94 in the third ODI against South Africa helped him gain 13 rating points to reach a career-best 865 points.
He also contributed 122 from 59 balls in Pakistan’s successful chase in the third match of a T20I series against the same opposition.
His compatriot Fakhar also produced stellar performances during the month, scoring two centuries in the ODI series victory over South Africa, including a magnificent 193 in the second match in Johannesburg.
Nepal’s Khushal, on the other hand, was the leading run-scorer as his team won a tri-series also featuring the Netherlands and Malaysia.
His significant contribution with the bat totalled 278 runs, including four half-centuries in five matches.
In women’s cricket, Alyssa played three ODIs versus New Zealand, scoring 155 runs at an average of 51.66 and a strike rate of 98.72.
Her efforts saw her finish as the leading run-scorer in Australia’s series victory over New Zealand that extended their record-winning streak to 24 ODIs.
Her teammate Megan became Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the same series, taking seven wickets at an average of 13.14.
New Zealand’s Leigh played two ODIs against Australia, achieving career-best figures of six for 46 in the second match of the series, and followed this up with three more wickets in the final match, finishing with nine wickets at an average of 7.77.