Cricket’s world organising body, the ICC announced on Friday that West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews was its Women’s Player-of-the-Month for October.
The 25-year-old all-rounder defied a shortlist that also featured Nahida Akhter of Bangladesh and Amelia Kerr of New Zealand to earn the award for her starring role in the Caribbean side’s Twenty20 International series against hosts Australia.
The top-ranked all-rounder in the Women’s T20I Player Rankings consistently thwarted the Australians with power-hitting and important wickets, and won the Player-of-the-Series award, and was a shoo-in for her second Player-of-the-Match prize.
“I’m very grateful to have received the ICC Women’s Player-of-the-Month award for October,” she said in the ICC media release making the announcement.
“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.”
Matthews carried her bat and was left stranded on 99, agonisingly missing out on a hundred, and West Indies Women were swept aside by eight wickets in the first T20I against the Aussies on October 1 at North Sydney Oval.
She then slammed an incredible 132 and to lead her side in the highest successful run chase of all-time in women’s T20Is against the world champions the following day.
Matthews cracked 20 fours and five sixes from 64 balls in a breath-taking assault on the Australian bowling, and the Caribbean side successfully chased 213 to secure a seven-wicket win in the second T20I at North Sydney Oval to level the three-match series 1-1.
It came after Matthews took three for 36 from her allotted four overs with her off-spin when Australia Women piled up 212 for six after they were put in to bat and made her a straightforward choice for her seventh successive Player-of-the-Match award in T20s.
She sparkled again with 79 off 40 balls to win another Player-of-the-Match award and end the month with 310 runs in the series at an average of 155, but West Indies Women went down by 47 runs and surrendered the series 2-1.
Needing a win to clinch a historic series success at Allan Border Field, the Caribbean side fell short of their target of 191, dismissed for 143 off the penultimate ball of the run chase.
“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,” Matthews said.
Matthews was crowned following votes cast by global fans registered at ICC-cricket.com and a specialist panel comprising ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and media representatives. (CMC)