Dubai [UAE], December 11 (ANI): Australian batter Travis Head, who smashed an explosive century to help Australia win their sixth ICC Cricket World Cup title, has been named as the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for November 2023.
Head beat tough competition from teammate Glenn Maxwell and India seamer Mohammed Shami to claim the honour.
Maxwell scored a magnificent double-century against Afghanistan during the World Cup, while Shami had a brilliant run with the ball during the same tournament, becoming the leading wicket-taker with 24 wickets in just seven matches, as per the ICC.
But it was Head’s 220 ODI runs in November–including a half-century and a century – that proved the difference, with the left-hander winning his first Player of the Month award.
The 29-year-old paid tribute to his teammates for their help in his journey over the last year.
“It has been an incredible 12 months for the team which it has been a real privilege to be a part of. The way we have navigated a home summer, away trips to India, England, South Africa, India and the World Cup has been a great credit to Pat (Cummins), the players and the staff,” Head said as quoted by ICC.
“I was fortunate that they kept faith in me for the World Cup after breaking my hand, so it was a great opportunity for me to pay them back. I felt the World Cup was amongst the best I have ever batted, so maybe having a rest before every campaign is the key.”
“It is a great honour to be recognised with this award, but it is a team effort. Without my teammates across all formats, this would not have happened; so these types of awards are as much for them as they are for me,” he added.
These two best knocks during November came in the most critical stage of Australia’s Cricket World Cup campaign.
These innings won the Head, Player of the Match award in the semi-final and final of the 50-over showcase.
In the semi-final, he made an impact with the ball initially, derailing the South Africa innings rebuild, claiming the important wickets of Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen. This helped restrict the Proteas to a modest total, which was overhauled in a tense chase. Head led Australia’s effort, smashing an aggressive 62 from 48.
In the final against India, he changed the course of the game with a stunning catch, which sent back the dangerous Rohit Sharma.
Then he smashed a brilliant 137 from 120 balls to help Australia win the game by six wickets as they chased a modest Indian total of 240. Australia’s innings was in the doldrums at one stage, having been reduced to 47/3. However, Head kept his cool and picked pace after seeing off a tough new ball period. His special knock was studded with 15 fours and four sixes.
Head is only the second Australia Men’s player to take the award after David Warner, who won it in November 2021.
Head has shown a sensational form of late. He was also instrumental in Australia winning the ICC Men’s World Test Championship final earlier this year with a brilliant 163 in the first innings against India. He claimed the Player of the Match award in the game, which his side won by 209 runs.
This year in 29 matches across all formats, Head has scored 1,627 runs in 38 innings at an average of 46.48 and a strike rate of above 98, with three centuries and nine fifties. His best score is 163.