South African batter Keegan Keegan Petersen has won the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Men's Player of the Month award for January. The right-handed batter impressed many with his superlative performances in the Test series against India.
Petersen was instrumental in the Proteas clinching the three-match Test series against a formidable Indian side. He finished as the leading run-scorer of the series with 276 runs to his name. The Proteas batter was also adjudged as the Player of the Series.
He pipped the likes of South Africa's U19 star Dewald Brevis and Bangladesh pacer Ebadot Hossain to claim the prestigious award. Former Proteas batter JP Duminy, who is also part of the ICC's voting panel, lauded Petersen for his gutsy performances against India. The ICC website quoted Duminy as saying:
"With the hype of the series and the high expectation, the composure he showed while batting in a pivotal No. 3 position was simply staggering."
After losing the Test series opener to India, South Africa made a thumping comeback to win the series by securing stunning victories in the subsequent two fixtures. Petersen received appreciation from all quarters for his batting in the series.
Heather Knight wins the ICC Player of the Month award for January
England Women's skipper Heather Knight trumped Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu and West Indies batter Deandre Dottin to claim the January Player of the Month award.
She was England's top performer with the bat in the only Test of the multi-format Women’s Ashes against Australia. The 31-year-old mustered 216 runs in the contest.
Knight dazzled fans with a magnificent unbeaten knock of 168 in England's first innings, which is also the second-highest score for a captain in the history of Test cricket. ICC's voting panel member Irfan Pathan praised Knight for her exemplary batting in the crucial encounter. The ICC website quoted Pathan as saying:
"168 is the highest Test score by any female English batter against Australia in Australia. It is also the second-highest score in women’s Tests in Australia. Her innings was made even more remarkable given its importance in securing the draw for England in the only Test."
England managed to salvage a famous draw in the one-off Test of the Women's Ashes. They managed to survive the last two overs on the final day with just a single wicket to spare.