Dubai, Aug 15: Australia's prolific all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner and England seamer Chris Woakes were on Tuesday named International Cricket Council (ICC) Players of the Month for July 2023.
The 26-year-old Gardner becomes the first player to win back-to-back awards, claiming her fourth ICC Women's Player of the Month prize following another scintillating set of performances against England and Ireland in July.
Gardner's latest triumph sees her overcome Nat Sciver-Brunt and compatriot Ellyse Perry who were also shortlisted for their stellar performances in July.
On the other hand, Woakes wins the ICC Men's Player of the Month award for his fruitful contributions with the ball, helping his side claw back a two-nil deficit to close out their Ashes series on level terms.
"Gardner and Woakes emerged victorious from votes gathered from global fans registered at icc-cricket.com and a specialist panel comprising ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and media representatives," the ICC said in a media release.
Following the success which saw her win the June award, Gardner continued her rich vein of form into July, this time demonstrating her prowess in the shorter formats. Returning a total of 232 runs with the bat, and 15 wickets with the ball, the all-rounder made telling contributions across the eight ODI and T20I fixtures she featured in during the calendar month.
In the earlier part of the month as her team pursued another Ashes triumph, Gardner provided valuable runs in the middle order to frustrate the hosts while also enjoying plenty of wicket-taking success. The number two ranked all-rounder in the ICC Women’s ODI Player Rankings was at her destructive best as she took three wickets in each of the three ODIs that formed part of the series.
Australia then travelled to Ireland for another ODI series, where the all-rounder chipped in with 65 runs in the first contest and took three more wickets in the second.
Meanwhile, Woakes, who has won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for the first time, enjoyed a successful return to England’s Test team, driving their resurgence in the Ashes to claim a 2-2 draw amidst high drama.
Eventually named England’s Player of the Series, Woakes bowled probing spells throughout his Ashes outings. Even though he grabbed the headlines by hitting the winning runs in Leeds, it was his 19 wickets in three Ashes Tests at a remarkable average of 18.15 that truly illustrated the impact of his return on the momentum of the series.
Woakes claimed the ICC Men's Player of the Month award from fellow England nominee Zak Crawley and architect of the Netherlands' successful qualification for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India, all-rounder Bas de Leede. (IANS)