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Conway, Ecclestone voted ICC Players of the Month for June

New Zealand opener Devon Conway and England spinner Sophie Ecclestone have been named the ICC Players of the Month for June. Photo: ICC

Dubai, July 12 (MNN) New Zealand opener Devon Conway and England spinner Sophie Ecclestone have been named the ICC Players of the Month for June at the conclusion of the voting process, which combines votes cast by former players, prominent journalists and global cricket fans.

Left-arm spinner Ecclestone edged out the Indian pair of Shafali Verma and Sneh Rana to become the second English female to win the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award after Tammy Beaumont, who was crowned in February.

Left-hander Conway became the first New Zealand player to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award after an astounding first month in Test cricket, cracking a solid double century on debut against England at Lord’s and following it up with two half-centuries in his next two games, including in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final in Southampton, the ICC said on Monday.

Conway won the award ahead of team-mate Kyle Jamieson, who was the Player of the Match in the WTC Final against India, with South Africa’s Quinton de Kock the other nominee for his fine performances on their tour of the West Indies.

Conway said: “I’m truly honoured to win this award. That I have received it for my performances in Test cricket makes it extra special.

“Scoring a double century at Lord’s was a dream come true for me and to have also been able to contribute to our win over India in the ICC World Test Championship Final is something that I know I will proudly look back on in years to come.

“I would like to thank the ICC and New Zealand Cricket for their support and encouragement and look forward to the international cricket to come in the second half of this year.”

Voting Academy panelist Ramiz Raja said: “His (Conway) batting on debut at Lord’s ranks as one of the best shows of the year. He plays the ball late, has the patience of a saint, and moves with the smoothness of a warrior. Flavour of the month by a long way!”

Ecclestone, a winner of the annual ICC Emerging Player of the Year award in 2018, was the most successful bowler in the one-off Test against India in Bristol, where she finished with an eight-wicket haul. She also grabbed three wickets each in the two ODIs which followed.

She said: “It’s really nice to win this award. It’s after a period in which we’ve played all three formats so it feels good to be recognised for my performances in the Test and the white-ball series.

“We’ve been happy as a team how we’ve performed across this series. We would have liked to have won the Test match but hopefully we can clinch the multi-format series.

“It’s all crucial preparation for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, when we’ll be defending the title we won in 2017, and we feel in a decent place as a team.”

Big-hitting opener Verma had been nominated for a Player of the Match effort of 96 and 63 on debut in Bristol and some useful runs in the two subsequent ODIs.

Rana’s performances during the period included a gritty 80 not out in the second innings to stave off defeat in Bristol and she picked up four wickets as well.

Voting Academy panelist Mpumelelo Mbangwa said: “What a month it was for Ecclestone. She compounded India’s problems with some magnificent bowling through the series. There is no doubt that her opponents got sick of having to deal with her as she ensured no place to hide, foxing them with her flight and guile. A quite wonderful month in which she was very influential for her England team.”

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