Vice-captain of India’s women’s T20I team and opening batter Smriti Mandhana has been named the ICC player of the year for 2018. Harmanpreet Kaur who led India to the semi-finals of the world T20 has been named the captain of ICC’s T20I team of the year.
Mandhana won the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best player of the year. She was also selected as the ODI player of the year by ICC for her sterling performances.
The left-hand opening batter was prolific in 2018 and her consistent runs at the top of the order enabled India to win series against England and South Africa.
In 12 ODI innings she slammed seven fifties and one hundred and scored a total of 669 runs. The Indian cricketer was equally good in the shortest format of the game as well. She scored five fifties in T20Is and amassed more than 600 runs, a feat achieved by only two other cricketers in this year.
Mandhana was delighted to receive the honours. She said that 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
She also noted that the century she scored in South Africa in Kimberley, 135 off 129 balls was quite satisfying and then she had good home series against Australia and England.
She explained that a lot of people used to say that she does not score that much in India, so she had a point to prove to herself. That was something which really made her better as a player. And then, of course, the first four matches of the ICC Women’s World T20 were quite memorable for her.
Along with Mandhana, Poonam Yadav found a place in ICC’s team of the year while Harmanpreet was picked as the captain for T20I team.
ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year: Smriti Mandhana (India), Tammy Beaumont (England), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Dane van Niekerk (South Africa), Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Alyssa Healy (Australia), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Deandra Dottin (Windies), Sana Mir (Pakistan), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Poonam Yadav (India)
ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year: Smriti Mandhana (India), Alyssa Healy (Australia), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Harmanpreet Kaur (India), Natalie Sciver (England), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Ashleigh Gardner (Australia), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand), Megan Schutt (Australia), Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh), Poonam Yadav (India)