Opening batter and T20I vice-captain of the Indian women's team, Smriti Mandhana has won the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for best cricketer of the year and the ICC ODI player of the year award. The left-hander was instrumental in India winning an ODI series against England. Smriti also played a crucial role in the T20 and ODI series triumphs against Sri Lanka and South Africa this year.
Smriti finished 2018 as the highest scorer in ODIs with 669 runs in 12 matches at an average of 66.90. She scored seven half-centuries and a hundred in the calendar year. The Mumbai cricketer was the third highest scorer in the Women's World T20 with 178 runs.
Harmanpreet Kaur was appointed captain of the 20-over side
Earlier, the ICC announced the women's ODI and T20I teams of the year with New Zealand's Suzie Bates appointed skipper of the 50-over side and India's Harmanpreet Kaur appointed captain of the 20-over side.
Kaur, who has been the best batter in the shortest format this year, scored 183 runs at a strike-rate of 160.5 in the Women's World T20 in West Indies this year. Also, in the 25 matches in the calendar year, she notched up 663 runs at a strike-rate of 126.2. Kaur is ranked third in the ICC Women's Player Rankings for T20I Batters.
Kaur was delighted to be appointed T20 captain and said, "To be honest, it was really surprising for me. The last two years we did not get enough T20I matches to play and it was really tough for me to build that confidence in the team and show that self-belief that we can do well in T20Is. Credit goes to all team members, the way they worked hard and show that self-belief."
"This award means a lot to me to build my confidence, BCCI is showing confidence on me - that I can do well in the format and I am looking forward to do well in the future."