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 story : ICC Awards: Babar Azam, Joe Root, Shaheen Afridi, Lizelle Lee bag top honours #IndiaNEWS #sports news Dubai, Jan 24: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was on Monday named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year while

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ICC Awards: Babar Azam, Joe Root, Shaheen Afridi, Lizelle Lee bag top honours #IndiaNEWS #sports news
Dubai, Jan 24: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was on Monday named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year while England Test captain Joe Root took home the top honours in the red-ball category, beating competition from, among others, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Babars team-mate and left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi won the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Mens Cricketer of the Year. He was bestowed the honour for taking 78 wickets across formats in 36 internationals at an average of 22. 20 in 2021.
The 27-year-old Babar scored 405 runs in six games at an average of 67. 50 in 2021. He was the second-highest run-scorer with 228 runs and was the Player of the Match in both of Pakistans wins in the 2-1 series victory against South Africa.
The architect of Pakistans chase of 274 in the first ODI, Babar made a century and laid the foundation with an 82-ball 94 in the final ODI where the visitors posted 320 batting first.
He was the lone warrior for Pakistan when they were swept by England 3-0. He accumulated 177 runs in three games but found no support as none of the other batters managed to score more than 100 in the series.
Babars best performance this year came in a losing cause in the final ODI against England.
Walking in to bat early in the innings, Babar strung a 92-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq to bail Pakistan out of trouble. He was cautious in his approach initially, bringing up his half-century in 72 balls. He made up for it by bringing up the next fifty runs in just 32 balls – it was his second ODI century of the year.
The magnitude of Roots sublime form in Test cricket in the year 2021 can be summed up by one simple stat he has become only the third player in history to aggregate over 1700 runs in Test cricket in a calendar year. Only Mohammad Yousuf and Sir Vivian Richards stand ahead of him.
Be it Asia or conditions back at home and against a range of bowling, the England skipper ruled everywhere with some sublime innings.
His knocks in Galle against Sri Lanka, and against India in both Chennai and Lords are some of the finest witnessed in the modern era, and will be spoken of highly for a long, long time.
He hasnt been shabby with the ball as well, chipping in with a handy 14 wickets, including a five-for in Ahmedabad.
Roots 218 in the first Test of the four-match series against India in Chennai was a masterclass in batting. He swatted away a quality bowling attack, both pace and spin, with utter ease. This was also a sign of things to come for the remainder of the year, as the 31-year-old played knock after knock of the highest calibre, irrespective of the opposition.
Ashwin was nominated in the same category along with Kyle Jamieson, and Dimuth Karunaratne.

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