Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday announced the nominees for April’s ICC Player of the Month Awards to recognise the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.
Cricketers Babar Azam (Pakistan), Khushal Bhurtel (Nepal), Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan) were nominated for the award in the men’s category, the ICC said in a statement.
The nominees among the women’s cricketers comprised of Alyssa Healy (Australia), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand) and Megan Schutt (Australia).
In the month of April, 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 Zaman also produced a stellar showing during the month, scoring two centuries in the ODI series victory over South Africa, including a magnificent 193 in the second match in Johannesburg.
Completing the men’s shortlist, Nepal’s Khushal Bhurtel 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 Kasperek 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.
The three nominees for either category are shortlisted based on on-field performances and overall achievements during that month (the first to the last day of each calendar month).
This shortlist is then voted on by the independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world. The ICC Voting Academy comprises prominent members of the cricket family including senior journalists, former players, broadcasters, and some members of the ICC Hall of Fame.