India captain Harmanpreet Kaur and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana on Wednesday earned nominations for ICC Women's Player of the Month award for September 2022. Apart from the duo, Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana has also been nominated for the honour to make it an all-Asian affair.
Despite not getting runs and desired results in T20I series in England at the start of the month, Harmanpreet was in imperious form during the subsequent ODI series which followed to bag Player of the Series award as the highest run-getter with 221 runs at an average of 221 and a strike rate of 103.27.
Scoring 221 runs across the three matches, she guided her side over the finishing line in the first match with a controlled 74 not out, before she clinched the series for her team in style in the second match, striking an unbeaten 143, also her second-best knock in the format, to seal a historic first ODI series victory for her side in England since 1999 and subsequently, a 3-0 series whitewash at Lord's.
Just like Harmanpreet, Smriti, one of the leading lights of India's batting lineup, and last year's winner of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year, also excelled during her time in England in September.
She scored consistently across both white-ball series, highlighted by her unbeaten 79 off 53 balls during the second T20I in Derby. After becoming the highest run-scorer for India in the T20I series with 111 runs at an average of 55.50 while striking at 137.03, she made a fine 91 in the first ODI at Hove - both match winning contributions.
In the final game where India only managed to get 169 at Lord's, she got a patient fifty to end the month averaging over 50 in both formats, underlining the scale of her successes in September.On the other hand, Nigar led from the front during her side's successful ICC Women's T20 World Cup qualification campaign in the United Arab Emirates, scoring 180 runs at an average of 45 across five T20Is.
The Bangladesh captain opened her account with a crucial score of 67 in her side's first outing - a victory over eventual finalists Ireland, before registering an unbeaten 56 against the USA en route to clinching a spot in South Africa both as a leader and batter.
In being nominated for the award, Sultana becomes the first female Bangladesh international to be shortlisted since Nahida Akter back in November 2021.