The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday revealed the winners of the ICC Player of the Month award in both the Men’s and Women’s categories. While Pakistan’s Asif Ali bagged the award in the Men’s category, Ireland’s Laura Delany claimed the title in the women’s category.
Ali won the men’s title over Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and Namibia’s David Wiese, while Delany won the women’s medal over teammate Gaby Lewis and Zimbabwe’s Mary-Anne Musonda.
Ali went undefeated in three matches for Pakistan at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in October, scoring with a strike rate of 273.68.
He made headlines during the tournament when he hit 27 not out off 12 balls to help Pakistan beat New Zealand, but it was what he did in the following game that cemented his reputation.
Ali hammered four sixes in the 19th over with Pakistan requiring 24 runs off the final two overs against Afghanistan.
“Helping your team to win, especially from the jaws of defeat is what makes Asif Ali special. And he did that not just once but twice,” ICC Voting Academy member Irfan Pathan said. “Although he scored considerably less than other two nominated players, the contribution he made and the pressure situations from where he snatched the victories made all the difference.”
Moreover, Ireland skipper Delany played the most vital role in Ireland’s 3-1 ODI series victory over Zimbabwe. With bat and ball, the all-rounder gave a flawless performance, hitting 189 runs at 63 and taking four wickets at 27.
Delany’s three innings yielded 88, 35, and 68 runs, with a strike rate of 108.62. She nevertheless contributed with the ball in the lone match where she was not necessary with the bat, taking 1/22.
“Laura has been playing international cricket for over a decade and has the difficult task of captaining her country, which carries a great weight of expectation,” ICC Voting Academy member Lisa Sthalekar said.
“I have been following her career, ever since I played alongside her in the Gordon Women’s Club in Sydney and watched her development. This recent series was a breakout series for her as she was able to register her highest ODI score and is a worthy recipient of the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for October.”