The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for June 2022 as England’s all-conquering Jonny Bairstow and South Africa’s batting force Marizanne Kapp.
Bairstow is crowned following a month of memorable performances in his side’s 3-0 ICC World Test Championship (WTC) series victory against reigning champions New Zealand. Despite a quiet start at Lord’s, Bairstow produced an exhibition of explosive hitting to steal victory against the odds in the second Test, smashing the second fastest century ever registered by an English batter in the longest format.
His exploits extended to the final match of the series, sealing the whitewash in equally explosive fashion with scores of 162 and 71 not out, which has since launched him up the MRF Tyres ICC Test Batter Rankings.
Bairstow celebrates this award for the first time, and is voted the Men’s Player of the Month ahead of teammate Joe Root and Daryl Mitchell of New Zealand. This remarkable series of scores has even continued into July, where back-to-back centuries in his side’s Test victory against India saw them home in a record-breaking run chase. Bairstow’s continued dominance already lines him up as a potential contender for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for July.
On being named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month, Bairstow commented: “I would like to thank the fans for voting for me as the ICC Men’s Player of the Month.
“It has been an incredible five weeks for England. It has been a positive start to our summer with four excellent wins against high-class opposition in New Zealand and India.
“We are enjoying our cricket as a team and playing with clarity and positivity. Even though I have scored four centuries in this period, I would like to acknowledge my teammates who have been excellent in every department and playing with immense confidence.”
Farveez Maharoof, the former Sri Lanka international and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member, said:“Jonny played the pivotal role of the aggressor, and was instrumental in winning the series for England with his counterattacking knock which changed the complex of the series against the World Test Champions. These kinds of players are special in Test cricket, and in my opinion he fully deserves this recognition.”
South Africa’s Kapp was selected the ICC Women’s Player of the Month, thanks to her solid and fierce resistance in the face of a hostile England bowling attack in the Test match at Taunton which secured her side a valuable draw. In what was her first Test match since 2014, Kapp came in with her side’s backs against the wall at 45 for four and produced a batting masterclass. She demonstrated her full repertoire of classy stroke-play on the way to scoring a national record of 150. Her resistance salvaged a respectable 284 for her team in the first innings, and while England set an imposing score in response, Kapp once again starred for her team with a score of 43 not out before rain curtailed play on the final day.
In securing this month’s award, Kapp overcomes fellow nominees in compatriot Shabnim Ismail and England’s Nat Sciver, and is South Africa’s first ICC Women’s Player of the Month winner since Lizelle Lee was crowned in March 2021.
On winning the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for June, Kapp commented: ““It really means a lot for me to win the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award, especially being up against two absolutely brilliant players in Shabnim Ismail and Nat Sciver.
“What made my first Test century so special was that, number one, our first Test match (in 2014) was an absolute nightmare. Then having to play another one after eight years where I had minimum preparation for the Test match because I was unwell and then finding my team in the position we were in at 45 for four, it is something that will stay with me throughout my career.
“It’s definitely a highlight for me, especially with the wickets that fell at the other end and then having to bat with the tail as well, those partnerships are what also made it so special.”
Reflecting on the award, former England international and member of the voting panel Lydia Greenway commented: “Playing in just her second Test match, Kapp showed resilience and high levels of skill to keep South Africa in the fight. In a weakened South Africa team due to injury, Kapp showed why she is one of the best all-rounders in the world by taking responsibility with bat and ball.”