India opener Smriti Mandhana has won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the 2018 ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year on Monday. The left-handed batter has also been named as the ICC Women's ODI Player of the Year.
The International Cricket Council announced the awards for top female players of the world in 2018, "selected by a voting academy which included respected members of the media and broadcasters".
Mandhana is only the second India woman player to win an ICC award after fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007.
According to a ICC release, "The 22-year-old, who has also been named in the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year and the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year, scored 669 runs at an average of 66.90 in 12 ODIs and 622 runs at a strike-rate of 130.67 in 25 T20Is during the voting period, which ran from 1 January to 31 December 2018."
"Mandhana played a crucial role in India’s semi-final appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, scoring 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35. She is currently ranked fourth in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters and 10th in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for T20I Batters," it added.
Australia's opening batter and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, who scored 225 runs in six matches at the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the West Indies, has been named the ICC Women's T20I Player of the Year.
England's 19-year-old left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone has been voted the ICC Women's Emerging Player of the Year.
The ICC also announced the ODI and T20I teams of the year, with New Zealand's Suzie Bates and India's Harmanpreet Kaur as respective captains.
The 11-member women's ODI side comprises players from seven countries, including two each from England (Tammy Beaumont and Sophie Ecclestone), India (Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav), New Zealand (Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine) and South Africa (Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp), and one player each from Australia (Alyssa Healy), Pakistan (Sana Mir) and Deandra Dottin (the Windies).
The T20I side boasts players from five countries, including four players from the ICC Women's World T20 2018 champions Australia (Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner and Megan Schutt), three players from semi-finalists India (Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Poonam Yadav), two players from New Zealand (Suzie Bates and Leigh Kasperek) and one player each from Bangladesh (Rumana Ahmed) and England (Natalie Sciver).