Dubai: India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana has won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and also been named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year, the International Cricket Council announced on Monday.
The 22-year-old scored 669 runs at an average of 66.90 in 12 ODIs and 622 runs at a strike-rate of 130.67 in 25 T20Is during the voting period, which ran from January 1 to December 31, according to an ICC’s statement.
Mandhana played a crucial role in India’s semi-final appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, scoring 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35.
She is currently ranked fourth in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters and 10th in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for T20I Batters.
A delighted Mandhana said: “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.
“The century I scored in South Africa (in Kimberley) 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,” she added.