New Delhi, Jan 10 (SocialNews.XYZ) Australia's off-spin all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner on Tuesday claimed the ICC Women's Player of the Month award for December 2022 after her contributions with bat and ball helped her team get to T20I series victory in India. Her performances also meant she now sits on top of Women's T20I Player Rankings for all-rounders.
Ashleigh saw off challenges from New Zealand's Suzie Bates and England's Charlie Dean to become the fourth Australian female to win the award in 2022 following in the footsteps of Rachael Haynes (who won in March), Alyssa Healy (April) and Tahlia McGrath (July).
"I'm honoured to have been named Player of the Month for December, especially given there's so many outstanding cricketers in the game at the moment. Our tour to India was an incredibly memorable one and it was pleasing to be able to come away with a series win in tough conditions."
"We've got an exciting couple of months coming up, so hopefully we can take that form forward into our series against Pakistan and the ICC Women's T20 World Cup," said Ashleigh on winning the award.
Her impressive 2022 ended with a flourish in December as she registered a total of 115 runs at an impressive strike rate of 166.66, taking seven wickets along the way at an average of 18.28 in the hard fought T20I series victory against rivals India.
After losing the second T20I in a thrilling super over at the DY Patil Stadium, Ashleigh responded by taking two wickets in each of the three remaining fixtures en route to a 4-1 series victory. She perhaps saved her best all-round performance for the final match at Brabourne Stadium.
Coming to the crease at 55 for three, she bludgeoned an unbeaten 66 from 32 balls to salvage a defendable total. With ball in hand, she once more took two key wickets, including that of the dangerous Shafali Verma, to restrict India and secure a resounding 54-run victory.
"Gardner is a deserved ICC Women's Player of the Month for her all-round performances in a winning cause against a strong Indian team. She scored valuable runs at an impressive strike rate, and alongside her impressive bowling average, it is easy to see why she is the top-ranked women's all-rounder in T20Is," said Farveez Maharoof, former Sri Lanka cricketer and voting panel member.