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Double delight for Babar Azam

Pakistan captain wins ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year prizes

DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday unveiled the final list of winners celebrated in the individual categories of the ICC Awards 2022.

Among the categories revealed on ICC’s digital channels were the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year and the coveted Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.

Pakistan icon Babar Azam was revealed the winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, as well as scooping the Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year prize, while England’s all-round sensation Nat Sciver emulates the feat by securing the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and the Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award.

Elsewhere, Ben Stokes was confirmed the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year following a landmark spell as England captain, Richard Illingworth was named the ICC Umpire of the Year and Nepal wicketkeeper Aasif Sheikh was honoured in the Spirit of Cricket category.

The winners were selected following a global vote conducted among an independent panel of prominent media representatives — the ICC Voting Academy — whose votes were combined with those of cricket fans from around the world registered to

Winners in the 13 individual categories were based on overall performances and achievements throughout the calendar year.

By winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Babar becomes the second winner from Pakistan in consecutive years, emulating the feat of his teammate Shaheen Shah Afridi, who won the prize in 2021.

Babar also set new records in 2022, not least becoming the first, and still the only, player to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award on two occasions.

Picking up where he left off in 2021, Babar enjoyed another momentous year, captaining his side to two Finals, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. At the crease, he piled on the runs in all formats, scoring over 2,500 international runs across ODIs, T20Is and Tests, ending the year as the leading run-scorer in the latter.

The Pakistan batter also claims the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award for a second successive year — the first to do this since Virat Kohli in 2017 and 2018. Babar consolidated his position atop the ODI batter rankings thanks to his staggering scoring consistency, registering 679 runs in 9 matches at an average of 84.87.

Within these numbers came notable performances against the likes of Australia, West Indies and New Zealand.

Reacting to the awards, Babar said, “I feel humbled to have been voted as winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy and join the ranks of some of the most iconic and respected names who have previously won the biggest and most prestigious individual award in our great sport. I continue to look up to these players as well as champions of the past for inspiration, motivation and improvement.

“As cricket is a team sport, this recognition and achievement would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of my family, team, fans and the institution, to all of whom I am greatly indebted and thankful.

“Every match I played for Pakistan has been special and memorable, but the most satisfying and accomplishing aspect for me was to compete and perform in front of my home fans against Australia, England and New Zealand’s touring sides.

“Of course, reaching the finals of two major tournaments in the United Arab Emirates and Australia were also some of the highlights for me and my team, and we hope to do better this year, which is going to be equally demanding but highly rewarding.”

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