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Babar Azam named captain of ICC Men’s T20I team of the year

19 Jan, 2022
Babar, who leads Pakistan in all three formats of the game, ended the T20 World Cup in 2021 as its leading run-scorer.  Photo: twitter.com/@babarazam258
Babar, who leads Pakistan in all three formats of the game, ended the T20 World Cup in 2021 as its leading run-scorer. Photo: twitter.com/@babarazam258

Pakistan cricket team’s skipper Babar Azam has been named captain of the International Cricket Council Men’s T20I team of the year for his “classy best” performance in the shortest format of the game.

The 11-member team also features wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan and pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, the ICC announced on Wednesday.

Other members of the team are Jos Butler, Aiden Markram, Mitchell Marsh, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasanranga, Mustafizur Rahman and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The ICC described the team members as “outstanding individuals who have impressed one and all — be it with the bat, the ball or their all-around exploits in a calendar year.”

Babar, who leads Pakistan in all three formats of the game, ended the T20 World Cup in 2021 as its leading run-scorer. The Green Shirts had reached the semifinals of the mega event with their all-around performance in the tournament while also defeating India during their dream time. This was Pakistan's first victory against India in an ICC world cup match.

“Overall, Babar played 29 matches and aggregated 939 runs at an average of 37.56 with one century and nine half-centuries,” the ICC said in a post, adding that the Pakistani skipper's captaincy was also praised in the tournament.

Wicketkeeper-batter Rizwan, the ICC said, ruled the roost in 2021 when it came to the shortest format of the game. “Aggregating a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches, Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89,” it said.

Rizwan, who recently won the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year award, was “solid” with gloves and responsible for Pakistan's electric starts while opening the batting at the T20 World Cup.

Highlighting the achievements of Shaheen Shah Afridi, the cricket body shared a video of the pacer’s full and straight delivery that dismissed India’s opening batter Rohit Sharma in the first over of the game in the T20 World Cup. Shaheen was named player of the match for his performance in the match.

“Extracting brilliant movement with the new ball and reversing it with the old, Afridi picked up 23 wickets in 21 matches at an average of 26.04 and an economy of 7.86,” the ICC said.

Still only 21, the body said the pacer would lead the Pakistan pace bowling unit for years to come.