Babar Azam, Alyssa Healy bag Player of the Month awards
Pakistan’s Babar Azam (male) and Australia’s Alyssa Healy (female) have been voted as the ICC players of the month for April.
Azam had a terrific tour of Africa which got him to No.1 in men’s ODI batting rankings, taking over India’s Virat Kohli. He scored 226 runs including a hundred in the three ODIs against South Africa. He amassed 305 runs in seven T20Is against South Africa and Zimbabwe, hitting a first T20I ton (122) against the Proteas.
Speaking of Azam’s approach, ex-Pakistan cricketer and current commentator Ramiz Raja has deemed Azam’s style as one of two ways to bat in limited-overs cricket.
“The world bats in two ways in white ball cricket. One way is to destroy attacks with muscle and force and then there is the Babar Azam way, like conducting a batting symphony with punch, panache and flair, and he deserves to win this award,” Raja said in a statement.
Azam is only the third Pakistani man after Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad and Mohammad Yousuf to top ODI batting charts.
Aussie keeper-batter Healy had a historic month of April in which Australia set the record for most consecutive ODI wins – 24 – going past Ricky Ponting’s men’s 21 in 2003. Healy is one of only four players to have played all 24 games.
She scored 155 runs at a strike rate of 98.72 in the three-ODI tour of New Zealand. The 31-year-old scored 44 off 50 in her 200th ODI for Australia during the second ODI.
“Healy deserves to win the ICC Women’s Player of the Month – April as she added the runs at the top consistently and at a good tempo to help set up Australia’s scoring in chases and target setting across all three games of their record-breaking series,” commentator Ian Bishop said.