Rishabh Pant, who was India’s MVP in both Sydney and Brisbane, has been voted the inaugural ICC Men’s Player of the Month for the month of January for his heroics. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail, who claimed a five-wicket-haul vs Pakistan, has been voted the Women’s Player of the Month.
India’s Rishabh Pant enjoyed the best month of his Test career in January, striking 245 runs across 4 innings and playing two match-defining knocks that helped India triumph in Australia, and the 23-year-old has now been rightfully rewarded for his heroics. The ICC, last month revealed the introduction of a ‘Player of the Month’ award for each month that will be fan-voted, and it has now been confirmed that Pant has been voted the ‘Player of the Month’ for the month of January. Pant, in January, played two Tests - in Sydney and Brisbane - and delivered two fourth innings classics, one of which helped India script a historic series win Down Under.
Reflecting on his achievement, the 23-year-old revealed that he would like to dedicate the award to the entire Indian side, which overcame the odds last month to topple Australia in their own backyard.
“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. 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,” a release from ICC quoted Pant as saying.
Pant was not the only cricketer who walked away with an award as South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail was named the Women’s Player of the Month for her efforts against Pakistan last month. Ismail, in January, remarkably picked 14 wickets in just 5 matches and capped her month off with an exquisite five-wicket haul in the fifth T20I versus Pakistan on January 31. The speedster thanked her family and her teammates for their incessant support and expressed pride over the achievement.
“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. Also, to all my fans and friends all around the world thank you very much for the vote, it really meant a lot to me. And lastly, a special thanks to also my family who have been there for me and supported me all through the way.”