Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australia opener Rachael Haynes declared ‘ICC Players of the Month for March 2022’

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australia opener Rachael Haynes have been voted the International Cricket Council (ICC) Players of the Month for March 2022.

Throughout March, Azam was at his brilliant best by scoring 196 in the second Test against Australia in Karachi as he beat West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Australia skipper Pat Cummins for the coveted monthly award. He so becomes the first player to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award on two occasions, having already won the title in April, last year.

Azam finished as the third-highest run-scorer in the recently concluded Benaud-Qadir Trophy, after Usman Khawaja and Abdullah Shafique. The highlight of the series was his match-saving 196 in the second innings of the second Test in Karachi.  

In the ODI series, Azam continued his outstanding form, playing vital knocks in the first two games. He scored 57 in the first ODI’s 88-run loss in before scoring a brilliant 118 to lead Pakistan to a six-wicket win in the second contest.

Former West Indies star and member of the voting panel Daren Ganga said, “Babar Azam wins this award not only because of his significant glut of runs scored during the Pakistan v Australia tour, he was able to transition success with the bat across formats, from the Test Series into ODIs.”

Significantly, Ganga added that Azam being able to fulfill the burden of expectation as a captain and batsman for Pakistan being host to an Australian team visiting after 24 years is a monumental achievement.

Australia’s Rachael Haynes was voted the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for March 2022 as she claimed the women’s award ahead of England spinner Sophie Ecclestone and South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt.

Australia won the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand, for a seventh time early in April. 

Haynes scored a total of 429 runs at an average of 61.28 with the highlight being a 130 against England in Australia’s opening ODI match in March. She was the top scorer for the side in March and was only surpassed by Alyssa Healy by the end of the tournament.

“Rachael Haynes was the backbone of nearly every World Cup game for Australia, consistently set platforms for them to go on and set huge totals, or chase down any scores put up to them. She was paramount in them reaching the final,” said Clare Shillington, former Ireland cricketer and member of the voting panel while praising Haynes’ contributions.

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