"I am grateful to my teammates"
India’s opener Smriti Mandhana has been named the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year for the second time following her stellar run across all formats in 2021.
In the limited-overs series against South Africa where India won two of the eight matches, Mandhana played a major role in both of the wins.
She scored 80 not out as India chased 158 in the second ODI and scored 48 not out in the win in the final T20I.
Mandhana played an innings of 78 in the first innings of the one-off Test against England that ended in a draw.
She played an important knock of 49 in India’s only win in the ODI series.
Mandhana made India’s first-ever pink-ball Test even more memorable by smashing her maiden century in the longest format.
The left-hander played her natural game, to begin with, and scored a run-a-ball half-century.
Mandhana was caught on 80 but was given a reprieve after Australia’s Ellyse Perry overstepped.
She made the most of the lifeline, reaching her first Test century with a boundary.
Her innings finally came to an end at 127, after putting India in a strong position.
The match ended in a draw, and Smriti Mandhana was declared the Player of the Match.
Commenting on receiving the honour, Smriti Mandhana told ICC:
“I am truly honoured for receiving the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2021.
“I am grateful to my teammates, my coaches, my family, friends and fans who believed in my potential and supported me in this journey.”
The cricketer added: “A recognition of such high class from the global governing body of cricket in an exceptional and difficult year will motivate me to continue to better my game and contribute to Team India’s success going forward.
“I look forward to 2022 with a clear focus on winning the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand as we continue to prepare as a team and unit.”
Heartiest congratulations @mandhana_smriti on yet another magnificent year in international cricket.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 24, 2022
Celebrating her achievement, Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to share a special message for Mandhana.
In a Tweet, he wrote:
“Heartiest congratulations @mandhana_smriti on yet another magnificent year in international cricket.
“Keep giving your best and keep scaling new heights.”
Instituted in 2006, the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year award was named after Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, the former England Women’s Test cricketer and administrator, in 2017.