Dubai:India's swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant on Monday won the ICC's inaugural Player of the Month award for his brilliant performances in the last two Tests against Australia in January.
Pant played two match-defining innings, scoring 97 in Sydney to ensure a draw before his unbeaten 89* in Brisbane, which led India to a historic series win against Australia.
'I am delighted to be receiving the inaugural ICC Men's Player of the Month Award. For any sportsperson, contributing to a team win is the ultimate reward but such initiatives help motivate youngsters such as myself to do better each time,' Pant said after winning the inaugural award.
'I dedicate this award to every member of Team India that contributed to our victory in Australia and also thank all my fans who voted for me,' he added.
Meanwhile, South Africa's Shabnim Ismail was named the ICC Women's Player of the Month for January 2021 for her performances across three ODIs and two T20Is during the month.
Ismail took seven wickets in the victorious ODI series against Pakistan, before taking five wickets in the second T20I against the same opposition.
Reacting to her award win, Shabnim Ismail said: 'Winning the ICC Women's Player of the Month in January just shows that all the hard work I put in during the lockdown has paid off for me. This accolade would not have been possible if it were not for my teammates and I am grateful and thankful for all your support.'
'The three nominees for each of the categories were shortlisted based on on-field performances and overall achievements during the period of that month (the first to the last day of each calendar month), ' the ICC said in a statement.The short-list was then voted on by the independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world.
The ICC Voting Academy comprises prominent members of the cricket fraternity including senior journalists, former players, and broadcasters and some members of the ICC Hall of Fame.(UNI)