The most remarkable day for Pakistan cricket has been marked as the global cricket governing body International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that national team skipper Babar Azam has been named as ICC ODI player of the year for 2021. Apart from Azam, wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan bagged the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year, while pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi won the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award. On top of this all, Babar Azam has been appointed as the captain of the ICC Men’s ODI Team for 2021.
In all, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi graced the show. This magical trio has undoubtedly introduced a new era of skill and dedication in Pakistani cricket.
Pakistan’s bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has been declared the winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ‘Player of the Year’ for 2021 by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Shaheen Afridi got 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20, with the best bowling statistics of 6/51 in the year 2021, highlighted by a blistering opening spell against India at last year’s T20 World Cup, where he destroyed both Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
Afridi came alive during the home series against South Africa after a difficult start to the year in Test cricket in New Zealand. Throughout the rest of the year, he maintained his outstanding form on away tours to Zimbabwe, the West Indies, and Bangladesh.
In total, he took 47 wickets for a stunning average of 17.06 in only nine matches.
In the year 2021, Shaheen Shah Afridi put on a show that included swing, seam, pure pace, and spicy yorkers.
Shaheen’s Memorable spell
Lat year, the first match of the T20 World Cup for both teams was played as Pakistan made history by beating India in a world cup match. Shaheen Afridi’s opening spell transformed everything, evoking audible gasps from those in the audience as they marvelled at the sorcery on display.
Shaheen’s first victim was Rohit Sharma. Then the dismissal of KL Rahul, who had his stumps smashed down by another peach of a delivery. India was unable to recover from this setback, and suffered their first-ever World Cup defeat to Pakistan. In the ending overs of the first Innings Shaheen also grabbed Virat Kohli’s wicket.
Babar Azam named captain of ICC Men’s ODI Team for 2021
Babar Azam has been appointed as the captain of the ICC Men’s ODI Team for 2021, while Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman has also been included in the Playing XI. Two Proteas players have been named in the squad, along with two Sri Lankans. Three Bangladeshi players are also included in the starting eleven. No Indian makes the Men’s ODI Team of 2021, just as no Indian makes the ICC Men’s T20I Team of 2021.
Babar managed to score 405 runs at an average of 67.50 with two centuries having only played six matches in 2021. In tough away trips to South Africa and England, the talismatic Pakistan captain made crucial performances, winning Player of the Match awards in each of their victories in the former. In Birmingham, he also hit a memorable ton in favourable conditions for seamers.