Babar captains ICC T20I team of the year; Rizwan, Shaheen also make cut
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) Wednesday unveiled its T20I team of the year with three players from Pakistan — Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi — making the cut.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been named the skipper of the ICC team for the shortest format.
The team consists Jos Butler, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Aiden Markram, Mitchell Marsh, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasanranga, Mustafizur Rahman and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
According to the ICC, releasing a team of the year is a way to recognise 11 "outstanding individuals who have impressed one and all — be it with the bat, the ball or their all-around exploits in a calendar year".
The ICC praises Babar for his outstanding display with the bat in the shortest format in 2021 and said the batsman was at his "classy best" in the format last year, during which he was also the leading run-scorer at the T20 World Cup. Babar played 29 matches and aggregated 939 runs at an average of 37.56 with one century and nine half-centuries.
The cricket body also hailed Rizwan for his consistent performance last year.
"Aggregating a staggering 1,326 runs in only 29 matches, Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89." The ICC also recognised the Pakistani gloveman for his contributions behind the stumps.
Afridi's "brilliant movement with the new ball and reversing it with the old" in matches last year was among notable highlights for the ICC. The pacer picked up 23 wickets in 21 matches at an average of 26.04 and an economy of 7.86, the ICC said, adding that "he will undoubtedly prove to be a fearsome prospect.