ICC Awards: Double delight for Babar Azam

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. File photo: Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed

New Delhi:  Pakistan captain Babar Azam was named the ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year 2022, winning the coveted honour for the second year in a row. He defeated competition from Australia's leg-spinner Adam Zampa, West Indies' opener Shai Hope and Zimbabwe's off-spin all-rounder Sikandar Raza.

Babar also bagged the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year. He is the second Pakistan cricketer to have won the coveted honour after left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi did so in 2021.
Babar was the only player to breach the 2,000-run mark during the calendar year across all formats, and he did it in style as he broke past that milestone while amassing a whopping 2,598 runs at an imposing average of 54.12.
His haul of eight hundreds and 17 fifties during the calendar year across all formats is his best of his playing career till date.

Babar played only nine ODI matches in 2022, but the 28-year-old made them count as he smashed three centuries, a further five half-centuries and only really failed with the bat on one occasion.

He has been at the top of the men's ODI player rankings since July, 2021. Babar scored 679 runs at a stunning average of 84.87 in the nine matches he played in 2022, registering eight scores of more than fifty, three of which he converted into hundreds.

As a captain, Babar had a memorable year as captain of the Pakistan ODI team, winning all three series. Pakistan were unstoppable in the ODI format, losing just one match (against Australia) out of nine.

His best effort in ODIs this year was 114 against Australia in Lahore. Set a daunting target of 349 by Australia, Babar put on a masterclass in chasing a total. Walking out to bat when his team needed 231 from 187 balls, Babar almost took his side home with an exceptional display of shot-making.

He brought up his hundred off just 73 balls, his fastest ever in ODI cricket and stuck around till the 44th over. The rest of the batters finished the job as they recorded their highest-ever successful chase in ODIs, with Babar deservedly named Player of the Match.

Honour for Sciver

England's seam-bowling all-rounder Nat Sciver was named ICC women's ODI Cricketer. She becomes the second cricketer from England to have won the coveted award after wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor won the honour in 2014.
Sciver beat competition Australia wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy, South Africa pacer Shabnim Ismail and New Zealand's leg-spin all-rounder Amelia Kerr to win the award.
She had a 2022 to remember, amassing 833 runs at an average of 59.90 and at a strike-rate of 91.43, including smashing five half-centuries and two centuries to put further accolades on an already impressive playing resume.

Illingworth named best umpire

Richard Illingworth won the award for Umpire of the Year in 2022. Illingworth, who played nine Tests and 25 ODIs for England as a left-arm spinner from 1991-96, had won the honour earlier in 2019.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.