Pakistan national squad captain Babar Azam has been nominated for the ICC Men’s ODI ‘Player of the Year’ award, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Thursday.
A statement issued by the ICC said that the best cricketers other than Azam, nominated by the ICC, include Bangladesh’s Shakibul Hassan, South Africa’s Janneman Malan and Ireland’s Paul Stirling.
The nominees’ list has a “talismanic all-rounder, two dashing openers, and the top-ranked batter in the 50-over format,” the ICC said.
Shakib Al Hasan
The Bangladeshi all-rounder scored 277 runs in nine matches at an average of 39.57 with two fifties and also bagged 17 wickets at an average of 17.52.
His memorable performance was against Zimbabwe when he came to his team’s rescue both with the bat and the ball in the second ODI at Harare.
The star batter played only six matches in 2021 but was in his prime form throughout the year. He scored 405 runs in six matches at an average of 67.50 with two centuries.
Babar Azam’s best performance this year came in a losing cause in the final ODI against England when he scored close to 50% of the team’s runs.
The South Africa cricketer, shortlisted for the award, has scored 509 runs in eight matches at an average of 84.83 with two centuries and two half-centuries in the outgoing year.
The fourth player, nominated for the coveted award, is Paul Stirling of Ireland who scored 705 runs in 14 matches at an average of 79.66 with three centuries and two half-centuries.
The Player of the Year will be decided through a ballot by cricket fans and the winner will be announced on January 24.
It is pertinent to mention that Azam stands first on the ICC’s ODI and T20 cricket rankings as a batter.
Earlier, the ICC had announced four nominations for the T20 Player of the Year, which comprised Muhammad Rizwan of Pakistan, Wanindu Hasaranga of Sri Lanka, Mitchell Marsh of Australia and Jos Butler of England.