The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced its Player of the Month nominations for August 2021 among both the men's and women's categories. While the women's nominations include Thailand’s Nattaya Boochatham, and the Ireland duo of Gaby Lewis and Eimear Richardson, the men's nominations include England captain Joe Root, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi and Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah.
Boochatham was phenomenal both with the bat and ball in the series against Zimbabwe and consequently also occupies the career-best positions in the ICC Women’s T20I Player rankings for batters, bowlers, and all-rounders. Her consistent performance was one of the main reasons behind Thailand's success over Zimbabwe in the three-match series in which they tasted win 2-1.
Moreover, the Ireland players Lewis and Richardson also played a significant role in the team's three wins out of four matches in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in the month of August. While Lewis became the first Ireland woman to notch a century in the shortest format of the game, Richardson was adjudged the Player of the Tournament in Europe Qualifiers due to her all-round contributions.
Afridi picked 18 wickets in 2 Tests against West Indies
As far as the men's nominations are concerned, Afridi has been picked after he ended the two-Test series against West Indies with 18 wickets, taking 10 wickets in the second Test and helping Pakistan level the series with a 109-run win.
India pace spearhead Bumrah has also been superb against England in the ongoing Test series. He scalped nine wickets in the first Test match and was also responsible for a match-changing contribution with the bat in the second Test at Lord's where he was involved in an unbeaten 89-run ninth-wicket partnership with Mohammad Shami which paved the way for a memorable India win.
Root the saviour for England
For England though, Joe Root seems to be batting in a zone of his own and is the leading run-getter in the series so far already having scored three tons. With over 500 runs in the series and a match-winning hundred at Leeds which helped his team come back in the series, Root has deservingly been nominated for the honour.
The Test series is continuing in the month of September, however, that won't have a bearing on these nominations as they are exclusively for performances in August.