Dubai [UAE], October 5 (ANI): Indian bowling all-rounder Axar Patel and star batters Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur are among players nominated for the ICC Player of the Month award for the month of September.
The candidates for the ICC Men's Player of the Month crown all excelled across ODI and T20I cricket during the month. Australia's Cameron Green was an instrumental figure in notable victories over New Zealand and India, Axar Patel is nominated following a series of impressive and restrictive bowling displays, while Mohammad Rizwan is nominated for the first time after a glittering run of performances with the bat.
The shortlist for the women's award features the star of Bangladesh's successful campaign in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates, Nigar Sultana, who captained her side to seal their place at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2023.
Completing the nominations are India heroes Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana. Both are shortlisted for the very first time, and are vying to be crowned the first ever India player to win the ICC Women's Player of the Month award thanks to stellar performances in both ODI and T20I series in England.
Australian all-rounder Green receives his first nomination for the ICC Men's Player of the Month Award after producing a string of fine displays during September. After striking an unbeaten 89 to seal a dramatic two-wicket victory over New Zealand in the first of three ODIs, attention then shifted to the T20I series against India, where Green continued his momentum. A thrilling knock of 61 from 30 balls helped his side clinch the opening match, and despite failing to win the series, Green topped the run-scoring charts for his team with 118 runs at an average of 39.33.
So often a key threat in India's bowling attack, Axar Patel enjoyed a prolific September to earn his first nomination for Player of the Month. Claiming a total of nine wickets at an average of 11.44 and with a superb economy rate of just 5.72, he most notably excelled in the home series against Australia, where he took three for 17 in Mohali, two for 13 in Nagpur, and three for 33 in Hyderabad to underline his significant credentials as a key asset for India in the shorter format.
Rizwan lies atop the ICC Men's T20I Player Rankings for Batters and his form throughout September helped illustrate why he sits at the summit. The Pakistan ace registered three half-centuries in the latter stages of his side's Asia Cup campaign which led them to the final, before continuing his rich vein of form in the subsequent T20I series against a visiting England side. Four further half-centuries followed, with the highlight being an unbeaten 88 during the dominant ten-wicket victory in the second T20I chasing down an imposing 199 sets by the tourists. Rizwan's month ended with him having amassed 553 runs at an average of 69.12 from his ten fixtures.
Despite a disappointing T20I series in England at the start of the month, Kaur was in imperious form during the subsequent ODI series which followed. Scoring 221 runs across the three matches, she guided her side over the finishing line in the first match with a controlled 74 not out, before she clinched the series for her team in style in the second match, striking an unbeaten 143 to seal a historic first ODI series victory for her side in England since 1999.
Another of the leading lights of India's batting lineup, and last year's winner of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year, Mandhana also excelled during her time in England in September. She scored consistently across both white-ball series, highlighted by her unbeaten 79 during the first T20I in Derby and 91 in the first ODI in Canterbury - both match-winning contributions. Mandhana also ended the month averaging over 50 in both formats, and with a strike rate of 137 in the T20Is, underlining the scale of her successes during the month.
Sultana led from the front during her side's successful ICC Women's T20 World Cup qualification campaign in the United Arab Emirates, scoring 180 runs at an average of 45 across five T20Is. The Bangladesh captain opened her account with a crucial score of 67 in her side's first outing - a victory over eventual finalists Ireland, before registering an unbeaten 56 against the USA en route to clinching a spot in South Africa. In being nominated for the award, Sultana became the first female Bangladesh international to be shortlisted since Nahida Akter back in November 2021. (ANI)