Smriti Mandhana bags ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2021

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On Monday, the International Cricket Council named Smriti Mandhana as the winner of the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2021.

Mandhana made 855 runs in 22 matches and had an average of 38.86 including one hundred and five fifties.

The other nominees for the award were Tammy Beaumont of England, Lizelle Lee of South Africa, and Gaby Lewis of Ireland.

The name of the trophy is the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Although 2021 was not a memorable year for the Women in Blue, Smriti was undeterred throughout the year and kept scoring runs for her team.

Against South Africa at home, she scored 80 not out in the second ODI in which India required 158 runs to win and then an unbeaten 48 that helped India win the final match against the Proteas in the T20I series.

She even starred in India’s maiden pink-ball Test against Australia in which she piled up her first Test hundred and made the occasion more historical and memorable. Against England, she scored 78 and while the rest of her teammates looked in trouble, she managed to get a score of 49 in India’s only ODI win on the tour.

Mandhana kept the fiery aggression in the T20s as well where she hit scores of 29 off 15 balls and a half-century.

She also performed against Australia in the ODIs, where she played an innings of 86 runs in the second ODI of the series.

Smriti is the sole Indian player to have won this award two times; the first one being in 2018.

The only other Indian woman cricketer to have won this award is Jhulan Goswami who won it in 2007.

Ellyse Perry, Australia’s all-rounder is the only female cricketer to have won this award three times.

Mandhana is currently on tour with the Indian team to New Zealand where she will be a part of the T20I and ODI series against the Blackcaps.

She has also been selected in the 15-member squad of the ICC Women’s World Cup that will be hosted in New Zealand.

In that, India will be up against Pakistan at the Bay Oval, Tauranga on the 6th of March.

The ODI series with New Zealand will begin on the 11th of February.

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