Dubai:Experienced India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and South African women cricketer Lizelle Lee on Tuesday won the ICC Player of the Month award for March for delivering outstanding performances for their respective teams.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar won the award for his impressive performances in India’s recently concluded series against England. He was the standout bowler on either side in the white-ball series and was chosen the winner for the month by fans and the ICC voting academy.
The 31-year-old Indian took six wickets with an economy rate of 4.65 in the three ODIs, while capturing four wickets with a fantastic economy rate of 6.38 in the five T20Is to emerge as the standout bowler on either side in the white ball series.
''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,'' Bhuvneshwar said in an ICC statement.
''I would like to thank each and every person who helped me in this journey starting from 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,'' he added.
Besides Bhuvneshwar, ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan of Afghanistan 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,'' he added.
South African Lizelle Lee, who played four ODIs against India where she scored a century and two half-centuries to move to the top of Women's ODI Batting Rankings, was named the ICC Women's Player of the Month for March.
''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 said.
Commenting on Lee's performance in March, Ramiz Raja, representing the ICC Voting Academy, said: ''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.''
The nominees among the women's also comprised Indian duo of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Punam Raut.According to ICC, the three nominees for each of the categories were short-listed 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 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)