Cape Town - Proteas left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has been named ICC Men’s Player of the Month for his exceptional performances in the Test series against Bangladesh.
Maharaj proved a constant threat to the tourists, taking 16 wickets at an average of 12.12, celebrating two seven-wicket hauls in the second innings of both Tests in April. His wickets were significant catalysts for his side’s 2-0 series triumph, winning comfortably on both occasions - by 220 runs in Durban, and 332 runs in Gqeberha.
The 32-year-old also struck a career-best 84 in the first innings of the second Test at St George’s Park.
Maharaj also surpassed Paul Adams midway during the series as South Africa’s most prolific Test spinner since the Proteas’ return from isolation in 1991. He now has 150 Test wickets, which is only 20 behind South Africa’s all-time record spinner Hugh Tayfield’s 170 scalps.
“I’m honoured and privileged to receive the ICC Player of the Month award for April and I want to thank my teammates for helping me win this award. I’m really happy with how the team has performed this past season and I hope we can build on this to reach greater heights as a unit,” Maharaj said.
ICC Hall of Famer Lisa Sthalekar, and member of the voting panel, said of Maharaj’s brilliant achievements.
“Keshav was key to South Africa’s success in the series. The amount of wickets he claimed at crucial times was exceptional and his valuable runs were among the main reasons they defeated Bangladesh,” Sthalekar said.
Maharaj beat his fellow Proteas spin twin Simon Harmer, who also claimed 13 wickets in the series, and Oman’s Jatinder Singh to the award.
Australia’s Women’s World Cup hero Alyssa Healy was the ICC Women’s Player of the Month alongside Maharaj. She was rewarded for her spectacular performances in New Zealand, particularly her record-breaking 170 in the final at the Hagley Oval which spearheaded the Aussies to the championship.
“Alyssa’s performance has certainly taken the world by storm and to do it in a Final says a lot about the character of this woman. She is a pioneer in the women's game and has set the bar extremely high,” said former Proteas batter and ICC voting panel member JP Duminy.