Babar Azam makes it to ICC ODI Team of the Year for second time

England’s Ben Stokes wins ICC Player of the Year Award| Australia’s Pat Cummins and India’s Rohit Sharma named Test and ODI players of the year respectively

Babar Azam
Pakistani Cricketer Babar Azam
Ben Stokes
English Allrounder Ben Stokes
Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins' photo
Rohit Sharma
Indian Batter Rohit Sharma
Joe Root
English Batsman Joe Root
Kyle Coetzer
Kyle Coetzer
Richard Illingworth
Umpire Richard Illingworth
Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar
Virat Kohli
Indian Cricket Team Captain Virat Kohli

LAHORE

Babar Azam has been named in the ICC ODI Team of the Year for the second time in his career after previously finding his place in 2017.

He is the only player named in the ICC’s annual awards that summed up a disappointed 2019 season for men in green in 50-over and longer format of the game.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Player of the Year after a fabulous 12 months that saw him play a decisive role in England’s dramatic victory at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 along with a host of other memorable performances. Stokes, who kept his nerve to smash an unbeaten 84 in the final against New Zealand, aggregated 719 runs and bagged 12 wickets in 20 ODIs during the voting period. He also scored 821 runs and took 22 wickets in 11 Tests, the highlight being an unbeaten 135 to win a nail-biting Ashes thriller in Leeds.

Australia’s Pat Cummins named Test Player of the Year. Cummins grabbed 59 wickets in 12 Tests during the period and finished the year as the top-ranked bowler in the ICC Test Player Rankings. India’s Rohit Shrama named ODI Player of the Year. Rohit Sharma made 1409 runs from 28 matches with seven hundreds that earned him the award for ODIs. England umpire Richard Illingworth has become the seventh person to win the David Shepherd Trophy for Umpire of the Year. This is the first time that the 56-year-old has won the award named after the late umpire from England.

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne has been named as Emerging Cricketer of the Year. Labuschagne scored 1,104 runs in 11 Tests, which saw him zoom in the ICC Test Player Rankings from 110 at the start of the year to fourth by the end. Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer is the Associate Cricketer of the Year. He led the Associate batsmen in ODIs with 880 runs in 18 matches and also aggregated 702 runs in 22 T20Is.

India captain Virat Kohli wins the Spirit of Cricket Award for his gesture at the World Cup, when he egged the crowd on to support Steve Smith rather than boo him. India seamer Deepak Chahar wins T20I Performance of the Year for his six for seven against Bangladesh in Nagpur, which also included a hat-trick.

No Pakistani can make it to ICC Test Team of the Year that includes Mayank Agarwal, Tom Latham, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli (captain), Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Neil Wagner, Nathan Lyon.

The ODI team of the year included (in batting order) Rohit Sharma (India), Shai Hope (West Indies), Virat Kohli (India, captain), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Ben Stokes (England), Jos Buttler (England, wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Mohammed Shami (India) and Kuldeep Yadav (India).

In the 2019 calendar year, Babar scored 1,092 runs in 20 ODIs at an impressive average of 60.66. He also scored three centuries and six half centuries. His centuries came against England at Trent Bridge (115), New Zealand at Edgbaston (101 not out) during ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and Sri Lanka at National Stadium (115).

In 2019, Babar featured in his first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and made the Pakistan record for the highest score in an edition by recording 474 runs. He currently sits on the third spot in the ICC ODI Player Rankings.

Since the inception of the ICC awards in 2004, Babar Azam is the eighth Pakistan player to feature in the ICC ODI Team of the Year. Other Pakistan players to find their places in the teams of the year include Inzamam-ul-Haq, Rana Naved Ul Hasan (both 2005), Umar Gul (2009 and 2011), Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal (both 2012), Saeed Ajmal (2013), Mohammad Hafeez (2014), Babar Azam and Hasan Ali (2017).

Babar Azam grateful to ICC

Reacting to the news, Babar Azam said: “I am thankful to the ICC and its jury for recognising my achievements with the bat in 2019 and considering me worthy of a place in the side that includes some of my favourite cricketers who entertained the fans throughout the year with their outstanding performances.

"However, I will reserve my biggest gratitude to my team-mates and fans as without their support this would not have been possible. We played and performed as one team, with the fans always behind us despite our up and down performances.

“These acknowledgements serve as additional incentives to cricketers to perform even better and continue to play their important part in further globalising this great sport. 2020 has started well for Pakistan cricket and we as a team look forward to building on it so that at the end of the year, there are more of us when the ICC announces the next set of winners same time next year. I also want to congratulate Nida Dar, who was named in the ICC T20I Women’s Team of 2019. She has been one of the top women’s cricket performers and someone who is looked upon by the younger generation of women cricketers. Women’s cricket in Pakistan is on a rise and Nida, along with others, is making significant contribution, which will be their legacy when they will decide to call it a day on their professional careers.”