Star Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month while Rwanda’s Henriette Ishimwe bagged the ICC Women’s Player of the Month as the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced the winners of the awards for March 2023.
Both all-rounders edged out their fellow contenders following a vote conducted among a specialist panel — comprising ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and media representatives — and global cricket fans registered at icc-cricket.com, who had been voting since the nominees were announced last week.
In claiming the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for March, Shakib wins his second Player of the Month crown after first winning in July 2021. He triumphs following a string of fine displays with bat and ball, cementing his position at the summit of the ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings for all-rounders. As well as an impressive series win over Ireland, Shakib was instrumental in securing a historic 3-0 T20I series victory over touring world champions England.
All-rounder Ishimwe started the year at the heart of the Rwandan team that lit up the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa. Her breakout tournament included a memorable four wickets in four balls in the win over Zimbabwe, and she carried that form into the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) Women’s T20I Tournament last month. 92 runs and 9 wickets in March, which included another hat trick sees her become only the second female from an Associate Member to win the ICC Player of the Month award.
The top performances in March 2023 for Shakib Al Hasan included two half-centuries against England, the second of which came in a familiar scintillating all-round display. A consolation win in Chattogram was inspired by Shakib, first thanks to his 75 in 71 balls and then with the ball as he took four for 35 in ten overs to seal a 50-run win.
In the T20I series that followed, Shakib skippered his side to a decisive 3-0 victory against England, with valuable runs in the first encounter, and key wickets across all three matches, in a string of impressive team display characterised by excellent fielding and disciplined bowling.
“If I was to pick my highlight from the past month, it has to be the T20 series sweep against England and, with the team continuing to perform beautifully as a unit in all departments, it is easier for me now to concentrate on my role and”contribute,” Shakib added.
Shakib overcame fellow nominees Asif Khan of UAE and Kane Williamson of New Zealand in the global vote.
“Shakib gets my vote for his overall contribution to Bangladesh’s success last month, notably beating a top side like England.
“While all three candidates have enjoyed excellent periods, for me he has been the standout player and a deserving Men’s Player of the Month for March,” former Sri Lanka international Farveez Maharoof elaborated on Shakib’s win,
“I owe this award to the many people who have supported me throughout my journey in cricket. To my coaches, who have invested countless hours into my training and development, to my teammates, who have been my source of inspiration and motivation, and to my family and friends, who have always stood by me, and above all, the almighty God, who has made all this possible,” Ishimwe commented, reacting to her award win.
Ishimwe emerged victorious in the voting process, beating Sibona Jimmy and Ravini Oa (both PNG), who were shortlisted based on strong performances in the Pacific Island Women’s Cricket Challenge.
Former South Africa international and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member, Ashwell Prince added, “Henriette boasts some incredible statistics from her games in March and it’s clear to see that she’s a talented prospect in the women’s game. In what is a really exciting time for women’s cricket, I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops in the years to come.”