Fakhar Zaman moves up in ICC Rankings

Pakistani Batter Fakhar Zaman bags ICC Player of Month for April 2023

Pakistani batter Fakhar Zaman has been named the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Player of the Month award owing to dominant match-winning performances in the One-Day International (ODI) format.

Fakhar bagged the Men’s award while Thailand skipper Naruemol Chaiwai secured the ICC Women’s Player of the Month in the ODI format, said a press release.

Fakhar has become the first Pakistani player to win the monthly accolade since Sidra Ameen in November 2022, and does so on the back of two crucial match-winning centuries in Pakistan’s ODI series success against touring New Zealand.

Following a quiet T20I series, Fakhar was at the forefront of his side’s success in the subsequent ODI showdowns. Chasing 289 in the first match in Rawalpindi, the batter enjoyed a 124-run opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq in a supreme display of control and counter-attacking play, eventually securing a five-wicket win thanks to 117 runs in 114 balls.

Set a mammoth target of 337 in the second ODI at the same venue, Fakhar once again shined in an outstanding display of hitting and partnership building. His memorable, unbeaten 180 in 144 balls was the key contribution as Pakistan recorded their second-highest-ever successful ODI chase.

Reflecting on the award, Fakhar said, “It is truly an honour for me to be named ICC Player of the Month for April. This month has been one of the highlights of my career and it was an amazing feeling to play in front of my own people in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi.

“I really enjoyed scoring back-to-back centuries in Rawalpindi, but my favourite was the 180 not out in the second match. I hope to continue the momentum leading into the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, and make Pakistan cricket fans happy and proud with my performances.”

Fakhar overcame fellow nominees Mark Chapman (New Zealand) and Prabath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) in the global vote, and commenting on his success in April, former Sri Lanka international and member of the voting panel Farveez Maharoof said, “Scoring consecutive centuries against a good team like New Zealand is a tough task. Fakhar not only did that, but he scored big hundreds, and he certainly deserves to be named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for April.”

Naruemol Chaiwai celebrated winning the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for April following a consistent spell of high scoring across Thailand’s historic ODI series victory against Zimbabwe, which the hosts won 3-0.

The Thai skipper was named Player of the Series for two unbeaten half-centuries en route to the series win. In the opening match, striding to the crease at 21 for four, her valuable 57 not out salvaged a defendable total for the hosts, who were able to then skittle the tourists cheaply for a 78-run victory.

“I am deeply humbled and proud of myself to display performances worthy of the accolade. The recent series was an important series for the team and myself to cement our progression in the ODI arena. Most of all I am deeply heartened by the voices that have identified with my success,” Chaiwai said.

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