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Dubai, Dec 12 (UiTV/IANS) – England captain Jos Buttler on Monday claimed the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for the first time after being at his remarkable best with the bat in his side’s charge to T20 World Cup triumph in Australia in November.
Buttler triumphed in a field which also contained teammate and fellow World Cup winner, leg-spinner Adil Rashid, and Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, both of whom played significant roles with the ball, guiding their sides all the way to the showpiece finale of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.
“I want to thank the fans for voting for me as the ICC Player of the Month for November. This award is down to the efforts of my teammates in what was the most incredible month of cricket, culminating in winning the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia,” said Buttler on receiving the honour.
Buttler once again underlined his reputation as one of the most fearsome batters in world cricket last month. November started with a Player of the Match performance in the dramatic 20-run victory over New Zealand in Brisbane. Making his 100th T20I appearance, the opener smashed 73 from 47 balls to provide some much-needed momentum to England’s campaign.
After England had secured their passage to the knockout stages, he followed this display with arguably his highlight of the tournament. Chasing 169 for victory in the semi-final against India, he demonstrated the full array of his strokeplay in smashing 80 from 49 balls. His record-breaking opening partnership of 170 with Alex Hales saw them claim a historic ten-wicket win in Adelaide.
“It is right up there amongst the best months of cricket I’ve been involved in, and it was pretty special to lead a group of players to the ultimate accolade of becoming world champions,” added Buttler.
Even though his scoring in the final was somewhat quiet by his standards, Buttler registered a valuable 26 runs against a menacing Pakistan bowling attack. He then led the efforts in the field with his expert captaincy and bowling changes, forcing Pakistan to fall short, and claiming England’s second ever T20 World Cup trophy.
“Jos continues to show the world why he is one of the best white ball players to have graced the game. Fearless, skillful and a fantastic leader who, coming into the tournament had big shoes to fill following Eoin Morgan’s departure. Determined to do things his way paid off immensely in his own and his team’s performances,” said Lydia Greenway, former England women’s cricketer and ICC Player of the Month voting panel member.