ICC announces men's and women’s Player of the Month for November 2023

Akter beat compatriot Fargana Hoque and Pakistan spinner Sadia Iqbal to win the award and was thrilled to accept the monthly honour

ICC announces men's and women’s Player of the Month for November 2023 PHOTO: AFP

Ayoung spin bowling sensation from Bangladesh has won the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for November 2023.

Bangladesh’s slow left-arm spinner Nahida Akter has been announced as the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for November. She became the first-ever Bangladesh women’s player to win the award.

Akter beat compatriot Fargana Hoque and Pakistan spinner Sadia Iqbal to win the award and was thrilled to accept the monthly honour.

“This is a moment to cherish," Akter said.

"To be recognised by such a distinguished panel of cricket experts mean a lot and winning the ICC Women Player of the Month award will be a massive source of inspiration and motivation for me.
“We have played some amazing cricket in recent months and I am so happy to have contributed to the successes we have tasted as a team. I must thank my captain, coaches and teammates for always believing in me and that has allowed me to play my natural game against quality opponents and perform under pressure.”

Akter’s seven ODI wickets at an average of 14.14 were instrumental in setting up an important series win for Bangladesh during November, with her haul earning the Player of the Series award.

In the first game, Bangladesh were dismissed for merely 81, but the slow left-arm spinner didn’t give up. She struck thrice before Pakistan eventually managed to overhaul the modest total.

In the second ODI, she finished with 1/43 and broke a pivotal stand between Diana Baig and Najiha Alvi. Bangladesh eventually tied the game, and Nahida was given the responsibility of bowling the Super Over. The 23-year-old gave away just seven runs and scalped two wickets. The batters then finished the job by chasing down the score and levelling the series.

The final game saw her pick up 3/26 and help restrict Pakistan to 166/9. This total was eventually hauled in by the Bangladesh batters in the 47th over.

The sensational youngster is already the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in T20Is and the third-highest for them in ODIs.

Australia’s World Cup-winning star Travis Head became the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for November 2023, at the back of his scintillating run during the month. 

Head beat tough competition from teammate Glenn Maxwell and India seamer Mohammed Shami to take the honour home.

Maxwell scored an all-time great double century against Afghanistan during the World Cup, while Shami had a brilliant run with the ball during the same tournament.

But it was Head's 220 ODI runs during the month of November - that featured a half-century and a century - that proved the difference, with the left-hander winning his first Player of the Month award.

The 29-year-old paid tribute to his teammates for their help in his journey over the last year.

“It’s been an incredible 12 months for the team which it has been a real privilege to be a part of. The way we have navigated a home summer, away trips to India, England, South Africa, India and the World Cup has been great credit to Pat, the players and the staff," Head said.

“I was fortunate that they kept the faith in me for the World Cup after breaking my hand, so it was a great opportunity for me to pay them back. I felt the World Cup was amongst the best I have ever batted, so maybe having a rest before every campaign is the key.
“It’s a great honour to be recognised with this award, but it is a team effort. Without my team-mates across all formats this wouldn’t have happened; so these types of awards are as much for them as they are for me.”

These two best knocks during November came in the most critical stage of Australia’s successful Cricket World Cup campaign.

These innings won Head the Player of the Match award in the semi-final and final of the 50-over showcase.

In the semi-final, he made an impact with the ball initially, derailing the South Africa innings rebuild, claiming the important wickets of Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen. This helped restrict the Proteas to a modest total, which was overhauled in a tense chase. Head led Australia’s effort, smashing an aggressive 62 from 48. 

In the final against India, he changed the course of the game with a stunning catch, which sent back the dangerous Rohit Sharma. 

Then in a chase of 241, he smashed a brilliant 137 from 120 balls to help Australia win the game by six wickets. Australia's innings was in the doldrums at one stage, having been reduced to 47/3. However, Head kept his cool and picked pace after seeing off a tough new ball period. His special knock was studded with 15 fours and four sixes.

Head is only the second Australia Men's player to take the award after David Warner, who won it in November 2021.

Head has shown sensational form of late. He was also instrumental in Australia winning the ICC Men's World Test Championship final earlier this year with a brilliant 163 in the first innings against India. He claimed the Player of the Match award in a game which his side won by 209 runs.