Pant, Root nominated for ICC Player of the Month for Jan

Dubai, Feb 2 : The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the nominees for the inaugural ICC Player of the Month Awards, in which India's Rishabh Pant and England's Joe Root have found a place in the men's category. Pant played two Tests against Australia where he scored a 97 at Sydney to ensure a draw before an unbeaten 89 at Brisbane that led India to a historic Border-Gavaskar series win. Root, on the other hand, played two Tests against Sri Lanka, where he scored a 228 and 186 and led his team to a 2-0 Test series victory. The third nominee in the category, Ireland's Paul Stirling played two ODIs against UAE and three ODIs against Afghanistan, where he scored three centuries. Meanwhile, Diana Baig of Pakistan, South Africa's Shabnim Ismail and her compatriot all-rounder Marizanne Kapp have found a place in the women's category. Baig played three ODIs and two T20Is against South Africa, where she led the wicket-takers with nine wickets in the three-match ODI series against South Africa. Ismail also played three ODIs and two T20Is against Pakistan and took seven wickets in the victorious ODI series against Pakistan, before taking five wickets in the second T20I against the same opposition. Kapp who is the third nominee in the category played two ODIs and two T20Is against Pakistan where she made 115 runs at a strike rate of 110.57 and added three wickets in the ODI series against Pakistan. The ICC on January 27 had announced the introduction of the 'ICC Player of the Month' awards to recognise and celebrate the best performances of both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year. The three nominees for each of the categories are shortlisted based on on-field performances and overall achievements during the period of that month (the first to the last day of each calendar month). This shortlist is then voted on by the independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world. ICC Voting Academy: 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 /IANS


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