Babar Azam can bag two top honours at ICC Awards this week

Babar Azam urges team to focus on New Zealand series rather than PCB changes

Babar Azam might be in for a great week as International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to announce the winners of its annual awards from Monday onwards. The awards will be announced on ICC digital platforms over a period of four days from January 23 to 26.

The Pakistan captain is nominated for two top honours, including Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year and ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year.

The nominees for each category were decided by the Awards Panel, which comprises of prominent cricket writers and broadcasters from across the globe.

Babar had a prolific year with the bat as he continued making and breaking records. Babar was the only player to breach the 2000-run mark in the calendar year across formats, with his 2598 runs coming at an average of 54.12, which included eight hundreds and 17 fifties.

The 2021 ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year continued to rule in the 50-over format, scoring 679 runs in nine matches. It is a testament to his consistency that he registered scores of 50 or more in eight of those innings. He continues to hold on to his top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings and is once again in the running to win the ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year 2022.

Babar also enjoyed a tremendous year in Test cricket, despite the team results not going his way. He accumulated 1184 runs in just nine matches and did the bulk of the heavy lifting for Pakistan in the longer format.

It was also a memorable year for Babar as captain in the white-ball formats – Pakistan won all three ODI series they played, losing just one match out of nine. In the T20I format, he led Pakistan to their first T20 World Cup Final since 2009.