Pakistan batter Fakhar Zaman was named the ICC Men’s Player of the month for April while Thailand skipper Naruemol Chaiwai was adjudged best in the women’s section after both produced match-winning performances for their countries in the ODIs.
Both batters were identified as April’s outstanding performers following a vote conducted among a specialist panel comprising ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and media representatives, who, in combination with global cricket fans registered at icc-cricket.com, had been voting since the nominees were announced last week.
Fakhar becomes the first Pakistan player to win the monthly accolade since Sidra Ameen in November 2022, and does so on the back of two crucial match-winning centuries in Pakistan’s ODI series success against touring New Zealand.
Following a quiet T20I series, Fakhar was at the forefront of his side’s success in the subsequent ODI showdowns.
Chasing 289 in the first match in Rawalpindi, the batter scored 117 from 114 balls in a 124-run opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq to secure a five-wicket win in the first ODI.
Set a mammoth target of 337 in the second ODI at the same venue, Fakhar slammed an unbeaten 180 in 144 balls as Pakistan recorded their second highest ever successful ODI chase.
Reflecting on his success, Fakhar said, “This month has been one of the highlights of my career. I really enjoyed scoring back-to-back centuries in Rawalpindi, but my favourite was the 180 not out in the second match.” Fakhar overcame fellow nominees Mark Chapman (New Zealand) and Prabath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) in the global vote.
Chaiwai celebrates winning the accolade following a consistent spell of high-scoring across Thailand’s historic ODI series victory against Zimbabwe, which the hosts won 3-0.
The Thai skipper was named Player-of-the-Series for two unbeaten half-centuries en route to the series win.
In the opening match, striding to the crease at 21 for four, her valuable 57 not out salvaged a defendable total for the hosts, who were able to then skittle the tourists cheaply for a 78-run victory.
The second of her important contributions came in the final ODI. A low-scoring affair on a challenging surface, Chaiwai came to the crease at 29 for two, but her 52 from 60 balls was enough to secure the sweep for Thailand.
Elsewhere, Chaiwai also chipped in with 55 runs across the T20I series that followed, her 29 in the second T20I helping her side edge out Zimbabwe in a five-wicket win.
“The recent series was an important series for the team and myself to cement our progression in the ODI arena. Most of all I am deeply heartened by the voices that have identified with my success,” Chaiwai commented.
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