Gardner and Brook seal ICC Player of the Month awards for February
· Top-ranked all-rounder Gardner wins following Australia’s successful ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign
· Brook continues to profit from excellent form and wins after run-scoring exploits in New Zealand Test series
· Both seal their second Player of the Month awards after winning back in December 2022
· More about the ICC Player of the Month awards is available here
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for February 2023, with Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner named the ICC Women’s Player of the Month, and England’s Harry Brook reclaiming the ICC Men’s Player of the Month.
The outcomes of the ICC Player of the Month Awards for February replicate the results of December 2022, where both claimed their maiden awards following prolific months for their respective teams in short and long formats of the game.
Gardner is crowned the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for February after a series of outstanding performances inspired Australia’s successful defence of their Women’s T20 World Cup crown in South Africa. Taking regular wickets and chipping in with valuable runs throughout, she reinforced her status as the number one ranked T20I all-rounder in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Player Rankings, eventually capping a prolific campaign with the Player of the Tournament prize.
ICC Men’s Player of the Month Brook earns his second prize after once more demonstrating his rising stock in international cricket. The free-scoring batter has impressed in all formats, and recent performances in England’s resurgent Test side continue to outline his high potential. Scoring big once more in New Zealand last month, Brook’s brisk and fearless strokeplay was a highlight, entertaining crowds in a dramatic Test series.
Gardner and Brook triumphed following a global vote conducted among media representatives, ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and fans registered at icc-cricket.com.
ICC Women’s Player of the Month, February 2023 – Ashleigh Gardner
Gardner’s tournament was littered with important contributions, and she excelled from the outset in the thrilling drama that characterised the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
In the opening match against a typically dangerous New Zealand side, she produced a dazzling bowling performance, taking five wickets for 12 runs to dismantle the White Ferns’ chase, and restrict them to a modest 76 all out in pursuit of Australia’s 173.
With a total of 10 wickets during the tournament at an average of 12.50, the wicket-taking threat and impressive economy rate of Gardner continued to cause problems for opposing batters, but her contributions extended beyond just her bowling exploits.
Scoring 110 runs across five innings, her most telling contributions with the bat came in the latter stages. Faced with a below-par score in the semi-final, Gardner smashed a valuable 31 in 18 balls to take Australia to 172 for four, enough to keep India at bay and secure victory by five runs. Then, chipping in with a crucial 29 in the Final, and claiming the prized wicket of Marizanne Kapp with the ball, Gardner was named the Player of the Tournament while her and her teammates celebrated another T20 World Cup trophy.
Gardner claims the ICC Women’s Player of the Month from two other stars of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup; England power-hitter Nat Sciver, and South Africa’s talented opener Laura Wolvaardt, who were both nominated for strong campaigns.
On reclaiming the ICC Women’s Player of the Month prize, Gardner commented: “Thank you to everyone who voted me the ICC Women’s Player of the Month. The past month has been ground-breaking for women’s cricket and it’s an exciting time for our sport.
“The T20 World Cup was a brilliant tournament, and playing the hosts South Africa in the Final in front of a packed crowd at Newlands was an incredible experience.
“Our Australian team are fortunate to have a number of world-class players, I’m happy I was able to contribute to our team success over the course of the World Cup.”
Former Zimbabwe international and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member, Pommie Mbangwa added, “In a month where many of her compatriots put up good performances and saw their team rewarded with another title, Ashleigh’s performances came at critical times and essentially ensured that they won a semi-final and the Final.
“She showed herself a player with the temperament for crunch situations which is a wonderful characteristic to possess.”
ICC Men’s Player of the Month, February 2023 – Harry Brook
After winning the ICC Player of the Month back in December for his pioneering approach to Test batting in England’s away series in Pakistan, Brook continued where he left off when arriving in New Zealand in February.
Brook started the series with a fluid 89 in 81 balls, taking apart the familiar threat of the New Zealand bowling attack with aplomb. Following up with another half-century in the second innings, the 24-year-old claimed the Player of the Match award as they secured a thumping 267-run victory at Mount Maunganui.
The second Test in Wellington endured a thrilling climax, and Brook once again starred for England breaking records in the process. Scoring a magnificent 186 in the first innings which included 24 fours and 5 sixes, the young batter’s explosive innings gave England a considerable upper-hand as New Zealand were forced to follow-on. Despite eventually losing the match in dramatic fashion, Brook was named Player of the Series for his 329 runs at an average of 82.25.
Brook overcomes fellow nominees Ravindra Jadeja and Gudakesh Motie to claim his second ICC Men’s Player of the Month, becoming the second player to win the award on two separate occasions along with 2022’s ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, Babar Azam of Pakistan.
Reflecting on another ICC Men’s Player of the Month prize, Brook added, “To win this award twice in a matter of months is a real honour. I’d like to thank my teammates and management of the England teams, who have been supportive and back me to play to my strengths.
“It has been a pretty good start to the year and I hope that we can continue to be build on what will be a huge summer and winter for the Men’s teams with an Ashes and aiming to win the 50-over ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India in the autumn, which I’m aiming to be part of both squads.”
Former Pakistan international and panellist in the ICC Player of the Month awards, Sana Mir added, “My choice for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month was Harry Brook because of the prolonged consistency he has shown and the fashion in which he made his runs during the last month. Younger batters such as Harry seem to be redefining Test batting at the moment, and that is what makes it even more special.”
Fans can continue to vote every month for their favourite male and female cricketers across all formats of international cricket as part of the ICC Player of the Month initiative by registering at www.icc-cricket.com/awards.