Gujarat Giants’ newly-appointed vice-captain Ashleigh Gardner and star batter Laura Wolvaardt have been nominated for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Player of the Month award for February 2023.
The Australian women’s cricket team rode on Gardner’s consistent all-round performances to clinch their third straight T20 World Cup and their sixth overall title in the shortest format.
Gardner was in impressive form with the ball for the Women in Yellow as she bagged 10 wickets in six matches at an average of 12.50 and an economy of 6.25. The 25-year-old off-spinner finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, only behind England’s Sophie Ecclestone.
Along with her spin bowling, Gardner also contributed some vital runs with the bat. The New South Wales-born cricketer scored 110 runs in five innings at an average of 36.66 and a strike rate of 119.56.
In the T20 World Cup 2023 final against South Africa, Gardner played a crucial knock of 29 runs off just 21 balls to power Australia to a competitive total of 156/6 in their allotted 20 overs. Later, the star all-rounder picked up one wicket for just 20 runs in her quota of four overs to help Australia restrict South Africa to 137/6 in the chase.
Following her brilliant all-round performances, Gardner was adjudged the Player of the Tournament.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Laura Wolvaardt finished as the leading run-scorer in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup.
The 23-year-old batter amassed 230 runs in six matches at an average of 46, hitting three fifties in the marquee tournament.
Wolvaardt had also slammed 61 runs off just 48 balls in the high-profile final against Australia to keep her side in the chase.
Wolvaardt was drafted in the Gujarat Giants’ lineup as a replacement for Beth Mooney, who suffered an injury in the opening match of the ongoing Women’s Premier League.
Apart from Gardner and Wolvaardt, England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt has also been shortlisted for the ICC Women’s Player of the Month award for February 2023.