Babar Azam, Chamari Athapaththu lead ICC Player of the Month nominations

Dubai, June 6 : International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday revealed the latest crop of outstanding international performers shortlisted as the candidates for the ICC Men's and Women's Player of the Month Awards for May. In the men's section, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has been nominated alongside Bangladesh batter Najmul Hossain Shanto and Ireland's middle-order batter Harry Tector. The Pakistan skipper and holder of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy is nominated for his performances at the latter end of his side's series 4-1 victory over New Zealand. Babar joined Imam-ul-Haq for a century second-wicket stand on May 3, finishing with 54 off 62 balls, as his side went on to post 287/6. The skipper stepped up a gear in the next match two days later, claiming Player of the Match honours in his side's 102-run win to go 4-1 up. He compiled 107 (117), his 18th ODI century, helping the hosts to 334/6. If successful, Babar will become the first player to win the ICC Men's Player of the Month award on three separate occasions (April 2021 and March 2022). Bangladesh batter Shanto is shortlisted for the first time following a prolific spell of run-scoring as his side triumphed over Ireland. He claimed the Player of the Series award for 196 runs across the tourists' hard-fought 2-0 sweep. The final candidate in line is Ireland's Harry Tector, who continued his fine international form against Bangladesh, albeit in a losing cause. Tector becomes Ireland's first nominee for the ICC Men's Player of the Month award since Paul Stirling was shortlisted back in January 2021 and his maiden nomination comes on the back of a sustained period of good form in international colours. Sri Lanka boasts two nominees for the ICC Women's Player of the Month award for May. Captain Chamari Athapaththu led the side to series victories over Bangladesh in ODI and T20Is, scoring well in both formats. It has been Athapaththu's constant flow of runs, even with the responsibility of captaincy, that makes her individual feats all the more remarkable. Her compatriot Harshitha Madavi also enjoyed decisive contributions in both series, starring as the Player of the Series in the T20I round of matches. The lineup is completed by Thailand's Thipoatcha Putthawong, who aims to emulate teammate Naruemol Chaiwai's Player of the Month prize in April. Her bowling prowess helped her side claim gold in the Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh. /IANS


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