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Rizwan dedicates ICC Player Award to flood-affected people

Pakistan star amassed a mammoth 553 runs from ten T20Is

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani ace wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan grabbed his first-ever ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for September 2022 and dedicated it to the people in Pakistan, who were affected by the floods and climate change.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for September, with Rizwan claiming the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award, while India’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur was named recipient of the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award, said a press release.

Rizwan secured his first-ever ICC Men’s Player of the Month crown after a remarkable spell of scoring throughout September, and sees him overcome fellow nominees Cameron Green (Australia) and Axar Patel (India) to the prize.

The Pakistan star amassed a mammoth 553 runs from ten T20Is, covering performances in the Men’s Asia Cup and the subsequent home T20I series against a touring England side. With an eye-catching batting average of 69.12 during the month, the talismanic opener also registered seven half-centuries to illustrate why he sits atop the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I batter rankings.

Rizwan would be a key figure for Pakistan heading into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in six days’ time, and he emphasised his importance during Pakistan’s surge to the Asia Cup Final, registering three half-centuries in the latter stages of the tournament, including scores of 71 against India and 55 in the Final against eventual winners Sri Lanka.

He carried his impressive form into the series against England, notching four further half-centuries, the highlight being his unbeaten 88 in partnership with captain Babar Azam as his side claimed a ten-wicket victory in the second T20I chasing down an imposing target of 199.

Reacting to claiming the latest ICC Men’s Player of the Month crown, Rizwan thanked Almighty Allah and expressed his heartfelt delight to all that enabled him to achieve this award.

“These achievements boost your confidence. I would like to take this momentum forward in Australia. I would like to dedicate this award to the people in Pakistan who are affected by floods and climate change. Hopefully, this will bring smiles to their faces.”

Former South Africa international and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member, JP Duminy said, “Mohammad is an outstanding performer and his consistency has been amazing. He is a player that continues to inspire many around the world.”

Meanwhile, Harmanpreet has become India’s first winner of the ICC Women’s Player of the Month thanks to her leading role in her team’s first ODI series victory in England since 1999.

The India skipper was at her brilliant best during the ODI series, scoring 221 runs across the three matches, maintaining a strike rate of 103.47 and only being dismissed once. She displayed control and poise in the first match of the series at Hove, and her 74 not out helped her side chase down England’s total of 228 at a canter to win by seven wickets.

On winning the award, Kaur said: “To come out as winner when being nominated alongside Smriti and Nigar is very humbling. I have always taken immense pride in representing my country and achieving the historic ODI series win in England will remain a landmark moment for me in my career.

“Since taking over the captaincy in all three formats, Harmanpreet has taken her game to another level. Not only providing consistency but adding her usual fireworks at the end of the innings,” said Lisa Sthalekar, ICC Hall of Famer and member of the voting panel.

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