Dubai: Indian batter Smriti Mandhana has been named in the Women's Team of the Year 2016, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced in Dubai on Wednesday.
The women's team of the year, which will be captained by West Indies' Stafanie Taylor, has been added to the list of awards to acknowledge and appreciate outstanding performances of women's cricketers over a 12-month period.
Based on their performance between 14 September 2015 and 20 September 2016, which included the ICC Women's World Twenty20 and the ICC Women's Championship, the players have been selected.
"This is the first time that the ICC has named a women's team of the year. Congratulations to Stafanie Taylor and the rest of her team on their selection. The quality and depth of the women's game continues to grow year by year, with a number of outstanding performances during the voting period, the selectors must have had an exceptionally difficult task in settling on the final 12 players," ICC chief executive David Richardson.
Besides Mandhana, the team features three New Zealanders in Suzie Bates, Rachel Priest and Leigh Kasperek, two Australians Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, England's Heather Knight and Anya Shrubshole, West India's Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin and Sune Luus of South Africa.
Kim Garth of Ireland has been included as the 12th player.
The side was selected by a panel consisting of Clare Connor (Chair), Mel Jones and Shubhangi Kulkarni.
Meanwhile, Suzie Bates became the first cricketer to clinch both the ICC Women's ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards.
Bates scored 472 runs in eight ODIs at an average of just over 94. She also took eight wickets at an economy-rate of 3.75. In the shortest format of the game, she was the leading run-scorer with 429 runs at an average of 42.90 and a strike-rate of over 115 runs per 100 balls.
Bates had won the Women's ODI Player of the Year award in 2013, but has been named as the Women's T20I Player of the Year for the first time to join the esteemed company of England's Sarah Taylor (2012 and 2013), Meg Lanning of Australia (2014) and West Indies' Stafanie Taylor (2015).
The previous Women's ODI Player of the Year include Australia's Karen Rolton (2006), Jhulan Goswami of India (2007), Charlotte Edwards of England (2008), Claire Taylor of England (2009), Australia's Shelley Nitschke (2010), West Indies' Stafanie Taylor (2011 and 2012), Sarah Taylor of England (2014) and Australia's Meg Lanning (2015).
Women's Team of the Year (in batting order): Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Rachel Priest (New Zealand, wicketkeeper), Smriti Mandhana (India), Stafanie Taylor (West Indies, captain), Meg Lanning (Australia), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Heather Knight (England), Deandra Dottin (West Indies), Sune Luus (South Africa), Anya Shrubsole (England), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand). 12th player: Kim Garth (Ireland).
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Live streaming details about the one-off four-day Test between India Women and England Women
India will tour Australia in September-October to play a day/night Test, three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals.
Verma also said her 96-run knock in the ongoing one-off game against England has also given her confidence to aim higher the next time.