The International Cricket Council launched another award category for Player of The Month in January 2021. This award recognizes and celebrates the best performances across all formats of international cricket. The winners are decided through voting by former players, journalists, and broadcasters as well as invited cricket fans.
June had three nominees in the Men’s and Women’s category with Devon Convey and Sophie Ecclestone taking the award. This month’s nominees for the Women’s category are Hayley Matthews (West Indies), Fatima Sana (Pakistan) and Stafanie Taylor (West Indies). Let’s get to know a bit more about these female cricketers.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 8, 2021
Hayley Matthews from West Indies.
Hayley Kristen Matthews is a 23-year-old sportswoman from Barbados who plays for the West Indies Women’s team as an all-rounder, right-handed batswoman and right arm off-break bowler. She made her international debut in September 2014 T20 International against New Zealand at the age of 16. Matthews played her first ODI on 11th November 2014 against Australia and has since been a regular in the West Indies Women’s team. Her performance in the five-match ODI series against Pakistan made her a contender for the Award. Matthews opened with a Player of the Series worthy performance of 168 runs at average of 42.00 and also took 7 wickets. In the third match of the series, she scored her second hundred in an ODI and also picked 2 wickets.
Fatima Sana from Pakistan
Fatima Sana is an all-rounder, right-handed batswoman and right-arm medium-fast bowler in the Pakistan Women’s Team. She played her first international against South Africa in April 2019 and made her WODI debut on 6th May 2019. Sana became the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan in the ODI series against the West Indies, taking 11 wickets at an average of 15.09. In the last two matches of the series, she performed an awesome 4/30 and 5/39, her maiden five-wicket haul to propel Pakistan towards victory in both matches. Subsequently, she made a quick score of 28 runs off 19 balls. Her outstanding performance despite being a rookie, got her into the nominees list for the award.
Stafanie Taylor from West Indies
Stafanie Taylor is a Jamaican female cricketer who plays in and captains the West Indies Women’s Cricket team. Stafanie is an all-rounder who excels in right-handed batting and right-arm bowling. She made her debut in 2008 and has since represented the West Indies over 80 times. Taylor is also the first West Indian to receive the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year accolade in 2011. In July 2021, Captain Stafanie was on a run and wicket spree. In the series against Pakistan, Matthews scored 43 runs along with 4 wickets for 17 runs in the final T20I. Consequently, she smashed a 105 not out and claimed 3 wickets in the first ODI. In the 4-match series, she bagged 175 runs at an 87.50 economy. This performance made her the second-highest run-scorer for West Indies in the ODI series, pushed her rank forward to the No.1 spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Player Rankings for batting and all-rounders for some time, and earned her a spot in the nominees list for Player of the Month.