Smriti Mandhana Best Player, Harmanpreet Best Captain: Indian women shine in ICC rankings

NewsBharati    31-Dec-2018

Dubai, Dec 31:
The International Cricket Council today announced today, Smriti Mandhana has been named as Best player of the year, ODI Player of the Year and included in ICC Women's Team of the Year 2018. Harmanpreet Kaur was named the captain of ICC Women's T20I Team of the Year.

New Zealand’s Suzie Bates was named as captain of the 50-over side. Poonam Yadav is also featured in both the ODI and T20I squads.

Kaur was delighted to be appointed T20 captain when she said “To be honest, it was really surprising for me. The last two years we did not get enough T20I matches to play and it was really tough for me to build that confidence in the team and show that self-belief that we can do well in T20Is. Credit goes to all team members, the way they worked hard and show that self-belief.”

Smriti has won the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award.

While talking with ICC, Smriti expressed happiness and said, “As Award is pretty special. As a player when you score runs, you want your team to win, when you get acknowledged for your performance through these Awards, it quite motivates you to work even harder and do well for a team.”

The 11-member women’s ODI side comprises players from seven countries, including two each from England (Tammy Beaumont and Sophie Ecclestone), India (Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav), New Zealand (Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine) and South Africa (Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp), and one player each from Australia (Alyssa Healy), Pakistan (Sana Mir) and Deandra Dottin (the Windies).

Smriti Mandhana Mandhana was born on 18 July 1996 in Mumbai to Smita and Shrinivas Mandhana. When she was two, the family moved to Madhavnagar, Sangli in Maharashtra, where she completed her schooling. Both her father and brother, Shravan, played cricket at the district-level, for Sangli.

Mandhana's first breakthrough came in October 2013 when she became the first Indian woman to achieve a double-hundred in a one-day game.

In June 2018, signed for Kia Super League defending champions Western Storm, becoming the first Indian to play in the league.

Smriti came into the team for the 2017 World Cup after recovering from an injury she sustained.

In March 2018, she scored the fastest fifty for India in a Women's Twenty20 International (WT20I) fixture, taking 30 balls to reach a half-century against Australia women in the 2017–18 India women's Tri-Nation Series.

Kaur was born on 8 March 1989 in Moga, Punjab. She made her ODI debut at age of 20 against arch-rivals Pakistan women's in March 2009 in the 2009 Women's Cricket World Cup played at Bradman Oval, Bowral.

In December 2017, she was named as one of the players in the ICC Women's T20I Team of the Year.

In October 2018, she was named as the captain of India's squad for the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies. In November 2018, she was named in Sydney Thunder's squad for the 2018–19 Women's Big Bash League season.