Shabnim Ismail has won the inaugural ICC Women’s Player of the Month award, finishing ahead of Pakistan's Diana Baig, and team-mate, Marizanne Kapp.
The leader of the South African bowling attack took seven wickets in the ODI series against Pakistan to play a big part in the Proteas' 3-0 series win.
And she followed that up by being the leading wicket-taker in the T20Is, taking seven wickets in the first two matches as South Africa won the series with a match to spare. In the process, she became only the fifth bowler – and first South African – to take 100 T20I wickets.
"South Africa won their ODI series against Pakistan and the first two T20Is largely due to their bowling attack, and in particular because of the wicket-taking of Ismail," said ex-Ireland international and ICC Voting Academy member Isobel Joyce. "She was the difference between the two teams."
"In a bowler’s series, Shabnim Ismail walked away with the highest plaudits after clinching and surpassing her 100th T20I wicket and claiming a brilliant career-best five-wicket haul," Kalika Mehta told the ICC. "The seamer's pace, accuracy, and consistency make her unstoppable on many an occasion."
Shabnim Ismail's January record
|20 January||First ODI||3/42|
|23 January||Second ODI||1/57|
|26 January||Third ODI||3/22|
|29 January||First T20I||2/20|
|31 January||Second T20I||5/12|
"With her pace and aggression, she continues to lead the South African women’s team’s bowling attack admirably," said Mpumelelo Mbangwa. "She is a joy to watch in action."
How the ICC Player of the Month voting works
The three nominees were shortlisted based on their on-field performances and overall achievements during the period of that month (the first to the last day of each calendar month).
The shortlist was then voted on by the independent ICC Voting Academy* and fans around the world. The ICC Voting Academy comprises prominent members of the cricket family including senior journalists, former players, broadcasters, and some members of the ICC Hall of Fame.
The Voting Academy submitted their votes by email and retained a 90% share of the vote. Additionally, fans registered with the ICC were able to vote via the ICC website once the shortlisted players were announced and had a 10% share of the vote.
ICC Voting Academy for ICC Player of the Month January 2021:
Afghanistan: Hameed Qayoomi and Javed Hamim, Australia: Adam Collins and Lisa Sthalekar, Bangladesh: Tarek Mahmoud and Mohammad Isam, England: Kalika Mehta and Claire Taylor, Ireland: Ian Callender and Isobel Joyce, India: Mona Parthsarathi and VVS Laxman, New Zealand: Mark Geenty and John Wright, Pakistan: Sohail Imran and Ramiz Raja, South Africa: Firdose Moonda and Jonty Rhodes, Sri Lanka: Champika Fernando and Russel Arnold, West Indies: Ian Bishop and Andy Roberts, Zimbabwe: Tristan Holme and Mpumelelo Mbangwa, Others: AKS Satish and Preston Mommsen
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