Nepali Men’s opener Kushal Bhurtel has been rewarded for his record-breaking start to international cricket, nominated by the ICC as April’s Player of the Month.
Amassing 278 runs at a strike rate of 140 and an average approaching 70, Bhurtel became the first man to score a half century in their first three T20I matches. He becomes the first Associate player nominated for either the Men’s and Women’s accolade, and the second-youngest behind Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.
The Nepali joined Dawid Malan as the only players to score four fifties in their first five T20I innings, and only Hazratullah Zazai’s 347 runs at 86.75 beats Bhurtel’s 278 as the most runs by a Men’s player over the same early-career period.
Nepal romped the home T20I series with Malaysia and the Netherlands, beating the Dutch by 142 runs in the final at the TU ground. Bhurtel topped off his electric month and joined Malan with 77 (53) in the tournament’s climax, belting eight fours and three sixes. He is one of five men’s players to score over 250 T20I runs so far in 2021, compiling his total in at least three fewer innings than the other four players in the list.
Bhurtel joins Pakistan pair Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam as nominees for the award, after India’s Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar dominated the year’s first quarter.
Fakhar averaged over a hundred in ODI cricket against South Africa, while the ever-consistent Babar churned out 533 runs across the two white ball formats, averaging 76 in the 50-over game and 43.57 in the T20Is.
Fans can vote for Bhurtel on the ICC website.
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