Babar Azam of Pakistan. Photo- Getty
Babar Azam of Pakistan. Photo- Getty

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has named Pakistan captain Babar Azam as the Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year 2021.

Pakistan’s Babar Azam, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, South Africa’s Janneman Malan and Ireland’s Paul Stirling were nominated for the ODI Cricketer of the Year award.

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Babar Azam and Ramiz Raja
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja (right) with Pakistan national team skipper Babar Azam. Credits: Pakistan Cricket/Twitter

The Pakistan skipper played just 6 One Day International games in 2021 but he made crucial contributions for the team in all the games he played and he was delivering consistent performance with the bat.

Overall, Babar Azam scored 405 runs at an average of 67.50 in the 6 games he played and he smashed two centuries in the year as well.

Babar was the second-highest run-scorer in the series against South Africa, where Pakistan won by 2-1, with 228 runs under his belt. Also, Babar was awarded Player of the Match in both the matches Pakistan won against South Africa. In the first ODI Babar smashed an outstanding century to help Pakistan complete the run chase and in the third and final ODI, he scored 94 runs, when South Africa posted 320 batting first.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Image Credit: Twitter)

Meanwhile, Babar was Pakistan’s best performer in the series against England, where Pakistan lost by 3-0. Babar managed to score 177 runs in the series and no other Pakistan batsman managed to score more than 100 in the series.

Babar Azam’s Most Memorable ODI Knock Of 2021

Babar Azam, Pakistan
Babar Azam. (Image Credit: Twitter)

Babar’s most memorable ODI knock came in the final One Day International match of the three-match ODI series against England.

Pakistan had already lost the series by losing the first two games back-to-back and they were playing for crucial ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points in the last match at the Edgbaston, Birmingham.

England won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first and Fakhar Zaman was dismissed quickly. However, Babar Azam had a 92-run partnership with Imam-ul-Haq that helped Pakistan gain some momentum.

Babar batted cautiously and completed his fifty off 72 balls and he completed the next fifty runs off just 32 balls, to smash his second ODI century of the year. His innings ended at the score of 158 runs off 139 balls, when he was dismissed by Brydon Carse in the second ball of the 50th over.

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