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Shakib wins ICC player of the month for second time

Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been voted ICC Player of the Month for March 2023 for his tremendous performance against world champions England and Ireland.

An ICC statement said that Shakib was instrumental in securing a historic 3-0 T20I series victory over touring world champions England and also put up an impressive show in limited over series win against Ireland.

In claiming the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for March, Shakib won his second Player of the Month crown after first winning back in July 2021. He triumphs following a string of fine displays with bat and ball, cementing his position at the summit of the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings for all-rounders.

“With 12 short format games throughout the month, Bangladesh had plenty of game-time in March, and their formidable short-format maestro Shakib was once again a key contributor to their success against England and Ireland,” an ICC statement said.

Opening the month with an ODI series against England, the all-rounder registered two half-centuries, the second of which coming in a familiar scintillating all-round display. A consolation win in Chattogram was inspired by Shakib, first thanks to his 75 in 71 balls and then with the ball as he took four for 35 in ten overs to seal a 50-run win.

In the T20I series that followed, Shakib skippered his side to a decisive 3-0 victory, with valuable runs in the first encounter, and key wickets across all three matches, in a string of impressive team displays characterised by excellent fielding and disciplined bowling.

No fewer than four days separated England’s departure and the first ODI against Ireland, and Shakib once more took up the task with aplomb, top scoring with 93 in 89 balls as Bangladesh comfortably won by 183 runs, setting the tone for another series victory.

His final performances in the month came in the form of three T20Is against Ireland, and Bangladesh sealed the series thanks to another outstanding display from the top-ranked all-rounder. A quickfire 38 from 24 balls rocketed the hosts to 202 for 3 from their 20 overs, before Shakib’s bowling prowess dismantled the Ireland chase with a brilliant five for 22 from his four overs.

Reflecting on another ICC Men’s Player of the Month prize, Shakib added, “I am honoured to win the award and would like to thank the expert panellists who have voted for me. This is a recognition I greatly value because there are so many special performances in a month from a number of amazing cricketers.

“If I was to pick my highlight from the past month, it has to be the T20 series sweep against England and, with the team continuing to perform beautifully as a unit in all departments, it is easier for me now to concentrate on my role and contribute.”

Shakib overcame fellow nominees Asif Khan of the UAE and Kane Williamson of New Zealand in the global vote, and former Sri Lanka international Farveez Maharoof elaborated on Shakib’s win, “Shakib gets my vote for his overall contribution to Bangladesh’s success last month, notably beating a top side like England.”

“While all three candidates have enjoyed excellent periods, for me he has been the standout player and a deserving Men’s Player of the Month for March,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rwanda’s Henriette Ishimwe named the ICC Women’s Player of the Month.