The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the nominees for April’s ICC Player of the Month Awards on Wednesday to honour the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman along with Khushal Bhurtel from Nepal are the nominees for Men’s Player of the Month. This is for the first time that the list did not feature any Indian Player since the award was introduced at the start of the year. Indian players were involved in IPL 2021 during the tournament.
Pakistan captain Babar last month had become the No.1 ranked batsman in the ICC ODI Player Rankings, putting an end to Virat Kohli’s long reign at the top. Babar’s nomination for this award comes after his match-winning performance against South Africa where he made 94 runs off 82 balls. This got him 13 rating points which inculcated in 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 SA Meanwhile, his teammate, Fakhar Zaman 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.
Khushal Bhurtel from Nepal was the leading run-scorer for his team that won a tri-series featuring the Netherlands and Malaysia. His significant contribution with the bat came to be 278 runs, which included four half-centuries in five matches.
Meanwhile, ICC Women’s Player of the Month Nominees are Alyssa Healy and Megan Schutt from Australia, and Leigh Kasperek from New Zealand. Healy played three ODIs against New Zealand, scoring 155 runs at 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 compatriot Megan Schutt became Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the same series, taking seven wickets at an average of 13.14. New Zealand’s Kasperek played two ODIs against Australia, achieving career-best figures of 6 for 46 in the second match of the series. She followed this up with three more wickets in the final match, finishing with nine wickets at an average of 7.77.
Fans can vote for these nominees at ICC’s official site. Last month Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for his performance in the series against England.