The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced Bhuveneshwar Kumar as their Men’s Player of the Month. While Lizzelle Lee from South Africa was voted Women’s player of the month.
Kumar won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for this month for his stellar performance in the series against England. He was chosen the winner by fans and the ICC voting academy.
On winning the accolade, Bhuvneshwar said, “After what seemed like a really long and painful gap, I was delighted to be playing for India again. I used the time away to work on my fitness and skill and I am happy to be back taking wickets for my country. I would like to thank each and every person who helped me in this journey starting with my family and friends and my teammates. Also, a special thank you to the ICC voting academy and all the fans who voted for me and made me the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for March.”
The 31-year-old Indian pacer took six wickets at an economy rate of 4.65 in the three ODIs, and 4 wickets at an economy rate of 6.38 in the five T20s to emerge as the standout bowler on either side in the white ball series.
The Player of the Month Award recognises and celebrates the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year.
In the media release issued by the ICC it’s been stated that the nominees for each category were shortlisted based on their performance in the field along with their overall achievements during the duration of that month. The short-listed candidates were then voted upon by the independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world. The ICC Voting Academy comprises prominent members of the cricket fraternity while also including senior journalists, former players, and broadcasters. Some members of the ICC Hall of Fame are also part of the body.
Other then Bhuvneshwar, Afghanistan’s leg-spinner Rashid Khan and Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams were also nominated in the men’s category.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman, representing the ICC Voting Academy, said, “Bhuvi missed nearly a year and a half of international cricket through multiple unrelated injuries, but you’d never have guessed. He was outstanding in both the PowerPlay overs and at the death in the white-ball formats against a powerful, aggressive England batting line-up. Economical and penetrative, he was instrumental in shaping Indian triumphs in both series.”
Lizelle Lee on Winning the Award
“I am happy and honoured to receive this award. Such accolades are a great way to keep me motivated and to continue to work even harder on my game. A big thank you to my teammates for their support as this would never have been possible without them,”
Lee was nominated alongside Indian Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Punam Raut. But after playing 4 ODI’s against India where she scored a century and two half-centuries to move to the top of Women’s ODI batting rankings, she was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for March.
Ramiz Raja, also representing the ICC Voting Academy, commented, “It is not easy scoring those many runs in alien batting conditions. It is always a challenge to adjust from bouncy pitches to slow low turning tracks and Lizelle did magnificently.”
In the month of February, Rishabh Pant and Shabnim Ismail emerged as winners for ICC Player of the Month award. Rishabh Pant was the winner from the men’s category for his remarkable performances in Sydney and Brisbane against Australia.
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 on the official website.