Rishabh Pant voted ICC Player of the Month (January 2021)
Indian wicket-keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, on Monday, was voted the ICC Men's Player of the Month for January 2021. The 23-year-old has been rewarded for this incredible run in the Border-Gavaskar series. His unbeaten 89 at the Gabba led India to a historic series win Down Under. Meanwhile, South Africa's Shabnim Ismail was named the ICC Women's Player of the Month.
Upon receiving the accolade, Pant said, "Delighted to be receiving the inaugural ICC Men's Player of the Month Award. For any sportsperson, contributing to a team win is the ultimate reward but such initiatives help motivate youngsters such as myself to do better each time."
Pant has become the toast of the town after playing a match-winning knock in Brisbane. His unbeaten 89 helped India win a second Test series Down Under. Notably, the astonishing knock also handed the visitors their first-ever Test win at the Gabba. Earlier, his valiant 97 at the Sydney Cricket Ground helped India steal a historic draw from the losing state.
It is interesting to note that Pant was not in the contention initially in Australia. He was left out for the Adelaide Test (D/N). However, he was roped in for the Boxing Day Test after India were bundled out for their lowest Test score.
On the other hand, Ismail was named the ICC Women's Player of the Month for January 2021 for her performances across three ODIs and two T20Is during the month. Ismail took seven wickets in the ODI series against Pakistan, before taking a five-for in the second T20I against the same opposition. Notably, she is the first South African to take 100 T20I wickets.
Reacting to her achievement, Ismail said, "Winning the ICC Women's Player of the Month in January just shows that all the hard work I put in during the lockdown has paid off for me." She added, "This accolade would not have been possible if it were not for my team-mates and I am grateful and thankful for all your support."