India’s stylish left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana on Monday was adjudged ‘Women’s Cricketer of the Year’ as well as the ‘Women’s ODI Player of the Year’ by the ICC.
Mandhana bagged the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and also been named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year, for scoring 669 runs in 12 ODIs along with 622 runs in 25 T20 Internationals in 2018. Her ODI runs were scored at an average of 66.90 while strike-rate for T20I was an impressive 130.67.
After winning the awards, Mandhana said “The awards are pretty special because as a player when you score runs, you want the team to win, and then when you get acknowledged for your performances through these awards, it motivates you to work harder and do well for your team.”
“The century I scored in South Africa was quite satisfying and then I had good home series against Australia and England. A lot of people used to say I do not score that much in India, so I had a point to prove to myself. That was something which really made me better as a player. And then, of course, the first four matches of the ICC Women’s World T20 were quite memorable,” she added.
It is to be noted that Mandhana played a crucial role in India’s semi-final appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, scoring 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35. She is currently ranked fourth in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters and 10th in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for T20I Batters.
Mandhana, who was selected by a voting academy* which included respected members of the media and broadcasters, becomes only the second India woman player to win an ICC award after fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007.