Latest pace sensation Shamar Joseph on Tuesday became the first West Indian to win the Men’s ICC Player of the Month award for his heroics in the Australia Test series. Ireland’s explosive young batter Amy Hunter claimed the honour in the women’s category after her dominance against Zimbabwe. The ICC revealed the award winners for January on Tuesday after shortlists were announced last week. Joseph enjoyed a stellar start to his West Indies career.
Brought into the side for their Test series against Australia, the 24-year-old made an instant impact, removing Steve Smith with his first ball in international cricket.
His first outing in Test cricket saw him claim five wickets in the first innings in Adelaide, taking the prized wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green and Smith. However, it will be his efforts in the second Test in Brisbane which will long be remembered.
Defending a modest 216 to prevent an Australian victory in the second innings, Joseph grabbed 7/68 “ four of which were bowled “ to skittle the home side out eight runs short of the target.
The win saw the West Indies claim a historic 1-1 draw, with Joseph sealing the Player of the Series award for his impressive debut. This latest accolade means he is the first West Indian to win the men’s award since its inception in January 2021.
Joseph, said, “To get such an award on the world stage feels special. I totally enjoyed every moment of that experience playing for West Indies in Australia, especially the magic of the final day at the Gabba. Taking the wicket to win the match was a dream! “It was a truly memorable moment for me, and I just want to continue to work hard and deliver more match-winning performances for the West Indies with the ball; and when required also with the bat.” Hunter is another of the young talents lighting up the international stage. After a subdued ODI rubber to start the month, Hunter followed up with an explosive series of knocks in the T20I series in Harare.
The first T20I match saw the 18-year-old wicketkeeper-batter smash a glittering 101 not out in just 66 balls from atop the order as the away side won by 57 runs.
Hunter hit a further 77 and 42 runs in the second and third outings respectively as Ireland comfortably secured the series win away from home.
Across her three T20Is during the month, her 220 runs came at an impressive strike rate of 144.73, helping her become the first Ireland player to win the award since Arlene Kelly won last August.
Hunter said, “It’s been an amazing start to the year, with two convincing series wins against Zimbabwe. I am pleased to have been able to contribute to the team’s success and hope to continue to do so.” Joseph overcame other top performers in Tests during the month: England’s Ollie Pope and Australia’s Josh Hazlewood, while Hunter won ahead of top Australian duo of Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney.
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