By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Indian’s Rishabh Pant and South Africa’s Shabrim Ismail have been crowned the winners of the International Cricket Council awards for the month of January 2021.
The awards were introduced to recognize and celebrate the best performances from both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year.
Pant won the ICC Men’s Player of the month for January 2021 for his performances in the two tests against Australia where he scored a 97 at Sydney and an unbeaten 89 at Brisbane that led India to a historic series win against arch-rivals Australia.
Ismail won the ICC Women’s Player of the month for January 2021 for her performances across the ODIs and two T20ls during the month. Ismail took seven wickets in the victorious ODI series against Pakistan, before taking five wickets in the second T20l against the same opposition.
Ismail said her hard work has finally paid off, “Winning the ICC Women’s Player of the month in January just shows that all the hard work l put in during the lock-down has paid off for me. This accolade would not have been possible if it were not for my team mates and l am grateful and thankful for your support. And to all my fans an 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,” she said.
Pant said such awards do also motivate the young ones.“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,” he said.
Fans can continue to vote for their favorite male and female cricketers across all formats of international cricket as part of the ICC Player of the Month initiative by registering on the www.icc-cricket.com website.