ISLAMABAD: Pakistani cricket captain Babar Azam and the team’s standout all-rounder Shadab Khan have both been nominated for the prestigious International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Player of the Month Award for August 2023, the ICC said in a statement on Thursday.
The ICC Player of the Month awards were started in 2021. An independent ICC Voting Academy, which includes former players, broadcasters, and journalists, selects winners of the ICC Men’s Player of the Month and ICC Women’s Player of the Month accolades.
“Two Pakistan stars and an explosive West Indies wicketkeeper have made the shortlist for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for August 2023,” the ICC said in the statement.
Azam, who has won the award twice before, was shortlisted for his form during the month of August, with two fifties in the first One Day International (ODI) of a three-match series against Afghanistan and a century in the ongoing Asia Cup.
“His exceptional form extended to the Asia Cup, where he scored a stunning 131-ball 151 against Nepal in the tournament opener,” the statement said. “During the innings, Azam became the quickest player in the history of the game to score 19 ODI centuries.”
The ton also drew him level with cricket legends like Javed Miandad and Saeed Anwar for most centuries (31) across all formats for Pakistan. Only Younis Khan (41), Mohammad Yousuf (39), and Inzamam-ul-Haq (35) now have more hundreds.
Pakistan’s star all-rounder, Shadab Khan, showcased his prowess with both bat and ball during the month of August, which also earned him a Player of the Month nomination.
In the opening ODI against Afghanistan, his resilient 39 runs off 50 deliveries played a pivotal role in driving Pakistan to a commendable total of 201. On the bowling front, he demonstrated his skills by dismissing Abdul Rahman, contributing significantly to Pakistan’s dominance as Afghanistan was dismissed for a mere 59 runs.
Khan’s batting prowess once again took center stage during the second ODI, where he clinched the Player of the Match award for 48 runs from just 35 deliveries.
In the decisive final ODI, he didn’t just contribute with the bat he also showcased his bowling abilities, tallying figures of 3/42. His scalps included Riaz Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Shahidullah, effectively dismantling Afghanistan’s batting lineup and sealing a comprehensive 3-0 series sweep for Pakistan.
Carrying his outstanding form forward, Shadab continued to shine in the Asia Cup opener by taking four wickets against Nepal.
According to the ICC, West Indies cricketer Nicholas Pooran has also been shortlisted for the August award.