West Indies fast bowler Shamar Joseph has been lauded by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for being named the International Cricket Council (ICC) Player of the Month for January, earning recognition for his outstanding performances in the two-match drawn Test Series against Australia.

Miles Bascombe, Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director of Cricket, extended congratulations to the Guyanese player on receiving the prestigious award, stating, "On behalf of Cricket West Indies, I wish to congratulate Shamar on this award, may it be the first of many in what is hopefully a long career in maroon."

The recognition from the ICC reflects Joseph's significant contributions to West Indies cricket and marks a memorable moment in his promising career

In the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, Joseph showcased his prowess with both bat and ball. He contributed a valuable 36 runs off 41 balls, including three fours and a six, facing the formidable Australian pace attack. Moreover, he impressed with a remarkable five-wicket haul, making a stunning debut in Test cricket. Notably, Joseph dismissed Steve Smith with his very first delivery and went on to claim the wickets of Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, and Nathan Lyon.

Undeterred by challenges, Joseph continued to make an impact in the second Test at the Gabba, Brisbane. Despite facing an injury setback, being hit flush in the toe by a yorker from Mitchell Starc, Joseph displayed resilience. In the first innings, he secured one wicket and retired hurt at the end of Day 3.

However, Day 4 saw a historic performance from Joseph. Despite entering the field late due to a uniform issue, he bowled an incredible spell of 11.5 overs, taking seven wickets. Joseph's stellar performance led West Indies to their first Test match victory in Australia in 27 years, ultimately tying the series.

 

Rising fast bowler Shamar Joseph has dedicated his ICC Men’s Player of the Month for January award to his West Indies Test teammates and cricket fans at large, with a vow to continue working hard to deliver more memorable performances in what promises to be an exciting career.

Not many players have made a more impressive start to their international career than Joseph, who burst onto the scene during the Two-Test series against Australia and rose from relative obscurity to the cusp of stardom after just two matches. His pivotal role in West Indies’ historic second Test victory over the world champions, not only etched his name in the annals of the sport's history, but it also left an indelible impression on cricket fans around the world.

Joseph's introduction to international cricket was so eye-catching, that the right-arm bowler beat out strong opposition from England batter Ollie Pope and Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood to claim the first men's monthly award for the new calendar year.

“I am extremely delighted to win this award. To get such an award on the world stage feels special. I totally enjoyed every moment of that experience playing for West Indies in Australia, especially the magic of the final day at the Gabba. Taking the wicket to win the match was a dream," Joseph said shortly after ICC's announcement on Tuesday.

“It was a truly memorable moment for me, and I just want to continue to work hard and deliver more match-winning performances for the West Indies with the ball; and when required also with the bat," he added.

It didn't take long for Joseph to make his mark on debut in the first Test against Australia, as the 24-year-old revived memories of West Indies quicks of yesteryear, when he claimed the prized wicket of the world's number two-ranked batter Steve Smith with his very first delivery.

Joseph picked up another four Australian scalps on his way to sensational figures of 5-94 in his first Test appearance in Adelaide and he backed up the effort, with decent scores of 36 and 15 coming into bat for his side at number 11.

Somehow, Joseph produced an even better performance during the West Indies' upset victory over Australia in the second Test in Brisbane. He produced a spell for the ages to collect figures of 7-68 that helped the Caribbean side to their first Test triumph in Australia since 1997.

Through two Tests, Joseph collated 57 runs at a decent batting clip of 28.50, and also took 13 wickets at an imposing average of 17.30.

“I want to say special thanks to the teammates and support staff in Australia who backed me from the start to get the job done. I will be the one receiving the award, but this is also for the team, and all the fans of the West Indies as well," Joseph noted.

 

West Indies captain Hayley Matthews has been rewarded for her superb recent form by being crowned the ICC Women's Player of the Month award for October 2023.

Matthews held off determined challenges from Bangladesh spinner Nahida Akter and New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr to claim the award, after a dominant period of play against Australia during the month.

The 25-year-old smashed scores of 99*, 132 and 79 in a Player of the Series performance during the T20I component of the West Indies' tour of Australia

Matthews also chipped in with an excellent spell of 3-36 during the second match of that three-game series to help the Caribbean side to a memorable victory.

The all-rounder then backed up those efforts with strong contributions during the ODI leg of the Australia tour, with scores of 20 and 23 during the two completed 50-over contests to cap off a huge month for the West Indies star.

Matthews remained Down Under following the series to compete in the domestic WBBL competition and was thrilled to accept her award from Australia.

“I’m very grateful to have received the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for October," Matthews said.

"I love pulling on the West Indies jersey. Every time I do wear that maroon and gold, it definitely adds an extra layer where you can go out there and perform well, not only for yourself and for the team, but in knowing how much cricket means to the people of the Caribbean and how much it can bring people together.

“It was pretty special going out there in Australia and being able to perform the way that I did, but knowing how many people’s faces I was able to put a smile on back home in the Caribbean, that’s what means the most to me.”

 

Hard-hitting Trinidadian left-hander Nicholas Pooran is among three nominees for the ICC Player of the Month award for August, cricket’s governing body announced on Thursday.

With 176 runs across his five T20I outings against India which led to a vital 3-2 series victory, Pooran is also a strong contender for this month’s prize.

Following defeats in the Test and ODI showdowns in the weeks prior, Pooran inspired the West Indies’ resurgence in the shortest format with two forty-plus scores book-ending a match-winning 67 in 40 balls in the second duel in Guyana.

For his exploits, Pooran was named Player of the Series, and earns the islanders’ first nomination in the Men’s Player of the Month awards since Gudakesh Motie was shortlisted in February 2023.

Pooran will be going up against Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Shadab Khan for the prize.

The three nominees for either category are shortlisted based on performances from the first to the last day of each calendar month. The shortlist is then voted on by the independent ICC Voting Academy* and fans around the world. The ICC Voting Academy comprises prominent members of the cricket fraternity including well-known journalists, former players, broadcasters and members of the ICC Hall of Fame. The Voting Academy submit their votes by email and hold a 90 per cent share of the vote. Fans registered with the ICC can vote via the ICC website, accounting for the remaining 10 per cent. Winners are announced every second Monday of the month on ICC’s digital channels. 

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