Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Bhuvneshwa­r wins ICC Player of the Month award for exploits against England


DUBAI: Experience­d India seamer Bhuvneshwa­r Kumar on Tuesday won the ICC Player of the Month award for his superlativ­e show in the limited overs series against England in March.

The 31-year-old Indian took six wickets at an economy rate of 4.65 in the three ODIs, while capturing four wickets at a fantastic economy rate of 6.38 in the five T20Is to emerge as the standout bowler on either side in the white ball series.

"After what seemed like a really long and painful gap, I was delighted to be playing for India again. I used the time away to work on my fitness and skill and I am happy to be back taking wickets for my country," Bhuvneshwa­r said in an ICC release. Bhuvneshwa­r became the third successive Indian recipient of the award since its inception early this year.

The January honours were claimed by dashing wicketkeep­er-batsman Rishabh Pant for his exploits in Australia, while veteran off-spinner Ravichandr­an Ashwin won it for the month of February following a stupendous all-round show in the home Test series against England.

"I would like to thank each and every person who helped me in this journey starting from my family and friends and my teammates. Also, a special thank you to the ICC voting academy and all the fans who voted for me and made me the ICC Men's Player of the Month for March," Bhuvneshwa­r said.

Besides Bhuvneshwa­r, ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan of Afghanista­n and Zimbabwe's Sean Williams were also nominated in the men's category.

Former India batsman VVS Laxman, representi­ng the ICC Voting Academy, said: "Bhuvi missed nearly a year and a half of internatio­nal cricket through multiple unrelated injuries, but you'd never have guessed.

"He was outstandin­g in both the PowerPlay overs and at the death in the white-ball formats against a powerful, aggressive England batting line-up. Economical and penetrativ­e, he was instrument­al in shaping Indian triumphs in both series." South African Lizelle Lee, who played four ODIs against India where she scored a century and two half-centuries to move to the top of Women's ODI batting rankings, was named the ICC Women's Player of the Month for March.

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