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Rizwan wins PCB’s ‘Most Valuable Cricketer of 2021’ award

Updated 07 Jan, 2022
Rizwan scored 455 Test, 134 ODI and 1,326 T20I runs, besides accounting for 56 batsmen behind the wickets across all formats, according to PCB. AFP/File
Rizwan scored 455 Test, 134 ODI and 1,326 T20I runs, besides accounting for 56 batsmen behind the wickets across all formats, according to PCB. AFP/File

Wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan has bagged the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year award for his overall performance in all three formats of the game with bat and gloves.

“Rizwan scored 455 Test, 134 ODI and 1,326 T20I runs, besides accounting for 56 batsmen behind the wickets across all formats,” read a PCB press release.

For the coveted award, the Peshawar-born cricketer beat star batsman and national team captain Babar Azam, all-rounder Hasan Ali and pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi. The other three contenders had an equally outstanding year with memorable performances at home and international events.

The winners were selected by an independent panel – including former cricketers, broadcasters, and journalists.

The results were announced in a virtual ceremony hosted by Sikander Bakht and Roha Nadeem.

In addition to the Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year award, Rizwan was also unanimously selected by the panel as the T20I Cricketer of the Year.

“I feel humbled and honoured to have been adjudged Pakistan’s Most Valuable Cricketer of 2021. This is the PCB’s most prestigious award and to be recognised for my contributions in the team’s superlative performances across all formats in 2021 in such a way gives me tremendous satisfaction and happiness," Rizwan was quoted as saying in the official handout.

Hasan Ali won the Test Cricketer of the Year for his 41 wickets in nine Tests. The pacer said that taking 10 wickets against South Africa in Rawalpindi in the second Test and helping Pakistan win the series 2-0 was one of the highlights of the year for him.

“Test cricket is the pinnacle format of the game and to be adjudged as the Test Cricketer of the Year is a proud moment for me,” he said.

Pakistan all-format captain Babar Azam bagged the ODI Cricketer of the Year award for accumulating 405 runs in six ODIs with two centuries and a half-century.

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s three for 31 against India on 24 October in Dubai in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 won him the Impactful Performance of the Year award. According to the PCB, Shaheen’s performance in the event changed the outlook of the side.

Being happy with the achievement, he said that for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the team wanted an “aggressive start” to set the tone for the rest of the event.”

Mohammad Wasim Junior bagged the Emerging Cricketer of the Year for his 45 wickets in 2021, while Nida Dar was named as the Women’s Cricketer of the Year after aggregating 604 runs and taking 25 wickets. Sahibzada Farhan won the Domestic Cricketer of the Year following his 487 runs in the Pakistan Cup, 447 runs in the National T20 and 935 runs in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

For the second successive year, PCB’s elite match officials voted Asif Yaqoob as the Umpire of the Year.

"Pakistan cricket team’s visit to the Namibia dressing room following their 45 runs victory to congratulate them on their qualification for their maiden ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and reaching the Super-12 stage won them the Spirit of Cricket award," it read.

PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja congratulated each award winner and said they deserved all the applause for their consistency across all formats in difficult times.