India’s Smriti Mandhana won the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best player of the year as well as the ODI Player of the Year at ICC Women’s Awards. New Zealand’s Sophie Devine and Pakistan bowler Sana Mir came second and third in the ODI Player of the Year category.
The left-handed opening batswoman Mandhana enjoyed a good year, helping India win ODI series against England, as well as series wins against Sri Lanka and South Africa in both T20I and ODI formats.
The 22-year old won the award after making 669 runs in a total of 12 ODI matches for India in 2018, slamming seven 50s along with a century against South Africa to average 66.90. Meanwhile, she hit five fifties in the shortest format in the year to become one of the only three to amass over 600 runs at an impressive strike-rate of 130.67.
“The awards are pretty special because as a player when you score runs, you want the team to win, and then when you get acknowledged for your performances through these awards, it motivates you to work harder and do well for your team,” she told ICC. “The century I scored in South Africa (in Kimberley) [135 off 129] was quite satisfying and then I had good home series against Australia and England.”
“A lot of people used to say I do not score that much in India, so I had a point to prove to myself. That was something which really made me better as a player. And then, of course, the first four matches of the ICC Women’s World T20 were quite memorable.”
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 31 December 2018
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) 31 December 2018
Hey Cricketer of the year, Congratulations on a fantastic 2018 and Wishing you an even better 2019! @mandhana_smriti
— Jaydev Unadkat (@JUnadkat) 31 December 2018
She also made it to ICC Women’s Team of the Year along with Poonam Yadav. Harmanpreet Kaur has been named the captain of ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year.
ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year: Smriti Mandhana (India), Tammy Beaumont (England), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Dane van Niekerk (South Africa), Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Alyssa Healy (Australia), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Deandra Dottin (Windies), Sana Mir (Pakistan), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Poonam Yadav (India)
ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year: Smriti Mandhana (India), Alyssa Healy (Australia), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Harmanpreet Kaur (India), Natalie Sciver (England), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Ashleigh Gardner (Australia), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand), Megan Schutt (Australia), Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh), Poonam Yadav (India)