ICC Player of Month: Sikandar Raza, Tahila Mcgrath win for August
Sikandar Raza became the first Zimbabwe international to win the ICC Player of the Month award among men
India's Jemimah Rodrigues missed out as Australia's Tahlia McGrath and Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza were on Monday voted as ICC Player of the Month for August following their outstanding international performances in their respective categories. Rodrigues was nominated for the award in the women's category, which also featured Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning Australian duo of Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath. However, McGrath became the latest Australian star to win the ICC Women's Player of the Month award after helping her country claim the Commonwealth gold in Birmingham.
Following in the footsteps of Alyssa Healy, who claimed the award in April, McGrath amassed 114 runs at an average of 57 during the month, together with five wickets at 13.40.
Amongst a series of strong displays, undoubtedly her star performance came in the victory over Pakistan, where McGrath scored an unbeaten 78, before her three wickets and a run out helped maintain her side's unbeaten path to glory.
"I'm honoured to have been named the ICC Women's Player of the Month for August given there are so many great players who are at the top of their game at the moment," McGrath said.
"I'm loving being back in the Australian team and being part of some really special moments, including making history as the first women's team to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal." Along with team success at the Commonwealth Games, McGrath's excellent month also saw her reach a career-high ranking of 12 among all-rounders in the ICC Women's T20I Player Rankings. Raza, on the other hand, became the first Zimbabwe international to win the award among men.
"I'm incredibly humbled and honoured to have won the ICC Men's Player of the Month award from the ICC. It's even more humbling being the first Zimbabwean to ever win the award," he said in an ICC release.
"I would like to thank everybody who has been in the changing room with me over the past three to four months, namely the technical staff and the players. Without them this would not have been possible.
"Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans in Zimbabwe and overseas for all your prayers and all your wishes, they are well received and I'm forever grateful." Raza produced an unforgettable series of scores against Bangladesh and India in Harare across two ODI series.
The all-rounder struck two magnificent unbeaten centuries (135 not out and 117 not out) during the historic 2-1 series victory over Bangladesh, on both occasions securing win for his side in dramatic fashion while chasing big targets.
He scored another memorable century against India later in the month, albeit in a defeat, continuing his sensational form shown throughout 2022.
In addition to his exploits at the crease, Raza also highlighted his bowling threat in the shorter format, taking seven wickets during the month.
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