The month of July was dominated by the spectacular Ashes Series between Australia and England, so it is no surprise that two of the three nominees for ICC (Indian Cricket Council) Players of the Month are the stars of the series. Given that England had trailed 0-2 at the start of July, their rise to victory in two of the next three matches was built on sensational performances from bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes and opening batsman Jack Crawley.
Young sensation Bas de Leede, who starred for the Netherlands in the World Cup 2023 qualifiers, joined the English pair as the third nominee for the Player of the Month honor. The 23-year-old’s very good all-round performance helped the Dutchman qualify for the showpiece event to be held in India later this year.
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Two Ashes Top Performers
- Chris Woakes
- Zak Crawley
#1 Chris Woakes
Charismatic all-rounder Chris Woakes turned around the Ashes series after being included in the third Test after being left out of the playing 11 in the opening two matches. The 34-year-old displayed his all-round performance for the team in the third Test at Headingley after the tourist went 0-2 down. Woakes took six crucial wickets in the match and scored 32 runs not in England’s tense final inning chase of 251 runs. The wily fast bowler then took his maiden Ashes five-wicket haul in the first innings of the drawn Fourth test in Manchester to seal a victory. Another seven wickets in the Final Test at The Oval.
His exploits helped England recover from a 0-2 defeat and draw the series 2-2 and prevented Australia from winning their first test series on English soil since 2001. Woakes played his match-winning inning in the third test at the end of the month taking 19 wickets.
#2 Zak Crawley
After the first two Tests, Jack Crawley’s place in the team came under heavy scrutiny, with the opener making a string of poor starts. However, sticking to the buzzball approach and blocking out all extraneous noise, Crawley made important innings of 33 and 44 in the low-scoring Third Test at Headingley before playing his final Ashes inning in Manchester.
The aggressive opener thwarted a quality Australian bowling lineup in all parts of the ground in his knock of 189 runs in 182 balls, which put England in a dominant position. Crawley put in another solid performance in the final test and made 22 and 73 to help England to a 49-run victory and level the series. Overall Crawley made 412 runs in July at an average of 58.85.
A #CWC23 Qualifier Stars:
#Bas de Leede:
Having already played an integral role in the Netherlands progressing to the Super Six stage of the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers, Bas de Leede produced one of the best ODI performances in the do-or-die encounter against Scotland. The 23-year-old took 5/52 in his 10 overs and then hit a blistering 123 off 92 balls to single-handedly take the Dutch side to a four-wicket win. His heroics ensured that the Netherlands finished in the top two, just ahead of Scotland, to qualify for the main World Cup in India.
Bas de Leede became only the fifth cricketer (male and female) in ODI history to score a double feat of a century and a five-wicket haul in a match. The all-rounder also scored 39 against Oman, which the Netherlands won by 74 runs
He finished as the third leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 15 wickets and also scored 285 runs at an average of 47.50 and a strike rate of over 100.