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

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced four names for the ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year Award. Notably this time, there has been no Indian player in the nominees and that goes to show the lack of game time and the impact they have had in 2021.

The four players who have been shortlisted for the ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year Award are Shakib Al Hasan, Babar Azam, Janneman Malan and Paul Stirling.

ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year Award Nominees

Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan. Credits: Bangladesh Cricket Board.

Shakib Al Hasan had last played an ODI in July 2019 after which he was banned for two years. However, he made a stunning comeback against the West Indies and produced a Player of the Series performance. He scored 113 runs and picked six wickets as Bangladesh won the series 3-0.

He picked up eight wickets and scored 145 runs in the three-match series against Zimbabwe and was once again named the Player of the Series. He scored 277 runs in nine games in 2021 and also picked up 17 wickets with the ball.

Babar Azam

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Image Credit: Twitter)

Babar Azam has taken his game to the next level ever since he became the captain of the Pakistan team. He played six ODIs in 2021 and scored a massive 405 runs at a sensational average of 67.50 with two hundreds to his name.

Babar Azam put up a man of the match performance in both of Pakistan wins against South Africa and amassed a massive 228 runs in the series. Although Pakistan were thumped 3-0 by England, Babar Azam was the lone shining light as he scored 177 runs in three games.

Janneman Malan

Janneman Malan

Janneman Malan had made his debut for South Africa in February 2020. However, he has quickly become an important part of their ODI setup. Malan scored a fine seventy in the dead rubber against Pakistan and that set the tone for the remainder of the year for him.

Malan was at his dangerous best against Ireland where he scored as many as 261 runs in just 2 games, including a mind-boggling 177 in the second ODI. He also hit a fine hundred against Sri Lanka on a turning track in Colombo. He is the second-highest run-scorer in ODIs in 2021 with 509 runs to his name.

Paul Stirling

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling[Mike Hewitt/AFP via Getty Images]
Star Ireland opener and vice-captain Paul Stirling has been around for a long, but one can definitely say that he hit his peak in 2021. Ireland as a whole didn’t play well and failed to win most of their games, but Stirling was simply sensational with the bat.

Stirling scored 705 runs in 14 games and ended up as the highest run-scorer in 2021. His performances against Afghanistan were standout where he scored two hundreds in three games.

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