Pakistan captain, Babar Azam has been named as the ‘Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year’ by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday (January 01). Despite playing fewer matches than scheduled due to the pandemic. the right-hander, what could be considered, had his breakthrough year with the bat.
He averaged mammoth 110.5 in ODIs, and 55.2 in T20I in the last 12 months. But it was his Test performances in the past couple of years that attracted everyone’s eyes. Azam ended 2019 with a century in Australia and followed it up with tons against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and later he scored runs in England. He averaged 67.6. in the longer format for Pakistan.
Apart from his international runs, Babar was also in scintillating touch in the Pakistan Super League- he received the Man of the Match in the final and Man of the Tournament award in PSL 2020.
Wicket-keeper, Mohammad Rizwan won the Test Cricketer of the Year award having scored 302 runs at an average of 43.14 last year. Rizwan has also replaced former skipper Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps and led Pakistan in the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand in Babar’s absence.
Fawad Alam was given the Individual Performance of the Year award for his valiant century in Mount Maunganui. The 17-year-old pacer Naseem Shah was named Men’s Emerging International Cricketer of the Year.
List of all winners:
Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year – Babar Azam
Test Cricketer of the Year – Mohammad Rizwan
White-ball Cricketer of the Year – Babar Azam
Individual Performance of the Year – Fawad Alam (102 v New Zealand, 1st Test)
Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Aliya Riaz
Domestic Cricketer of the Year – Kamran Ghulam
Corporate Achievement of the Year – First-ever HBL PSL 2020 in Pakistan
Men’s Emerging International Cricketer of the Year – Naseem Shah
Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Rohail Nazir
Women’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Fatima Sana
Umpire of the Year – Asif Yaqoob
Babar Azam clears the fitness Test, but not confirmed to play
In the latest news, Babar Azam has cleared the fitness Test, however, the skipper is not yet confirmed to play in the second Test in Christchurch. Azam is recovering from a thumb fracture which he sustained during a throwdown net session at the start of the tour. Consequently, he missed the 3-match T20I series and the following first Test in Mount Maunganui.
“He’s cleared but he wants to take some more time. If he plays he has a great impact on our team. He has batted very well in the nets and he’s fine now but he wants to hit some more today and we’ll find out tomorrow,” Mohammad Rizwan said.