Ireland batter Harry Tector has made history as he is the first Ireland player to clinch the ‘ICC Player of the Month’ award for men’s cricket. “The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for May 2023. In-form batter Harry Tector becomes the first Irish player to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award, while teenage sensation Thipatcha Putthawong seals consecutive Women’s Player of the Month awards for Thailand, emulating her skipper Naruemol Chaiwai’s win back in April,” ICC said in a press release on Monday.
Tector has been enjoying a sustained period of good batting form in One Day International (ODI) and his recent run-scoring feats have seen him shoot to his highest-ever position of seventh spot in the ICC Men’s ODI batting rankings.
Ireland’s home series against Bangladesh in May marked the conclusion of the ICC Super League, and despite failing to secure a whitewash which would have ensured their qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India later this year, Tector produced some eye-catching displays of batting.
An unbeaten 21 before the rain intervened in the first outing was followed by Tector’s highlight of the month, a brutal career-best knock of 140 in 113 balls which featured ten sixes and helped Ireland post a formidable total of 319.
The series defeat meant Ireland’s route to the World Cup will need to come via the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe starting in just under a weeks’ time, yet with 206 runs in May, Tector’s form identifies him as a key threat.
“I am delighted with the Award and would like to thank those who voted for me, however, cricket is a team sport first and foremost, so the Award is more a reflection on the performances and progress of the Ireland Men’s squad,” Tector commented.
“Without the support of Heinrich [Malan], Andrew [Balbirnie] and the dedicated group of coaches and players I work with, I wouldn’t have been able to win this award. While Laura [Delany] and Eimear [Richardson] have won the Women’s equivalent, this is the first time an Irish player has picked up the men’s Award. While a personal privilege, I believe it won’t be too much longer until more Irish players are being recognised this way.
“Thanks to the ICC – but I am sure you will understand that this will only be a brief moment of reflection as we have a crucial qualifier starting in a matter of days, and our focus will be solely on that over the coming weeks,” he added.
Tector wins the award from a competitive field which featured Najmul Hossain Shanto of Bangladesh and current holder of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, Babar Azam of Pakistan. Like Tector, both enjoyed superb run-scoring form in ODIs in May.
Newly crowned ICC Women’s Player of the Month Thipatcha Putthawong became Thailand’s latest winner of the award following a flurry of impressive bowling figures in her country’s gold-medal winning performance at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in May.
The left-armer took 11 wickets in four T20Is during the performance period at a staggering average of 1.54, enjoying successive spells of four wickets for three runs, three for three, and three for two against the Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar respectively in Thailand’s surge to gold.
“I am very happy to be recognized as the ICC Women’s Player of the Month. I would like to express my gratitude to the Cricket Association of Thailand for my aiding development and always trusting in my abilities,” she said.
“I am very honoured to be given the opportunity to represent my country and put in important performances during the SEA Games. I would like to express my appreciation to all the voters that contributed to this prize. I will keep trying to develop myself as a cricketer and hope everyone follows my progression and Thailand’s success in the future,” concluded the left-armer.
Putthawong fought off challenges from Chamari Athapaththu and Harshitha Madavi to win this month’s award, and former West Indies international and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member, Stacy Ann King revealed her reasons for voting for her. She commented, “While she is up against two well-known and recognized names in Chamari and Harshitha, Putthawong’s outstanding figures, totaling 11 wickets with just 17 runs conceded is a majestic achievement by the 19-year-old, and that should be acknowledged.”
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