The Indian duo of Sneh Rana and Shafali Verma figure in the women’s shortlist alongside England’s Sophie Ecclestone as the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday announced the June nominees for the ICC Player of the Month awards. ICC player of the month award was instituted in January this year to recognise the best international performances across formats for male and female cricketers.
The nominees for the monthly men’s awards this time are Devon Conway, Quinton de Kock, and Kyle Jamieson while Sophie Ecclestone, Sneh Rana and Shafali Verma figure in the women’s shortlist. An independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world will now vote to decide the winners, which will be announced on July 12.
Opener Devon Conway of New Zealand smashed a double century on Test debut at Lord’s to enter the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings in 77th position with a record 447 rating points, the highest for a New Zealand batsman on debut and the third-highest ever on debut. He followed it up with half-centuries in his next two Tests, including the ICC World Test Championship Final, to aggregate 379 runs at an average of 63.16.
The other Kiwi on the list is Kyle Jamieson who was the Player of the Match in the ICC World Test Championship Final against India in Southampton, finishing with match figures of seven for 61. He dismissed India captain Virat Kohli in both innings, while his other scalps included Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant. He played two Tests during the month, finishing with 10 wickets at an average of 17.40.
Quinton de Kock of South Africa is the final nominee in the men’s list as the wicketkeeper-batsman just finished as the Player of the Series against the West Indies, notching an unbeaten 141 in the first Test and 96 in the second Test for an aggregate of 237 runs at an average of 118.50. In three T20Is against the same side, he scored 135 runs at a strike rate of 142.10.
Sophie Ecclestone of England is on the women’s list as the left-arm spinner was the most successful bowler in the one-off Test against India, finishing with a match haul of eight for 206 for an average of 25.75. Bagging four wickets in each innings of the Test match, she also had three in each of the two ODIs which followed during the month, her six wickets coming at an average of 12.16 and an economy rate of 3.65.
In the same test at Bristol, all-rounder Sneh Rana had a memorable debut, her unbeaten 80 off 154 deliveries helping stave off defeat against England after India were made to follow on. Earlier in the match, she finished with four for 131, accounting for well-set opener Tammy Beaumont and Amy Jones among others. She also took one for 43 in an ODI against the same side.
Big-hitting opener Shafali Verma who made a stunning debut against England in the one-off Test is the final nominee in the women’s list. She was named Player of the Match in the Bristol Test. The 17-year-old became the first Indian woman and fourth from any country to score half-centuries in both innings of a debut Test, notching 96 and 63. Her first innings score was the highest by an Indian woman on debut. She also aggregated 59 runs in two ODIs against India at a strike rate of 85.50.
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