Afridi and Root take ICC Cricketer of the Year titles

By Sports Desk January 24, 2022

Shaheen Afridi and Joe Root have been named the ICC men's Player of the Year and Test Cricketer of the Year for 2021.

Pakistan fast bowler Afridi took 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20, including a career-best of 6-51 against West Indies in August.

It was during Pakistan's run to the semi-finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup that the 21-year-old particularly impressed, taking seven wickets in six matches.

Mohammad Rizwan, England captain Root and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson were also nominated for the prestigious award.

While Root missed out on that accolade, he was voted the top Test cricketer for 2021.

Root scored 1,708 runs in 15 matches, including two double centuries and a further four tons, in what was otherwise a disappointing year for England.

Only Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have scored more in a single calendar year.

The 31-year-old saw off competition from New Zealand bowler Kyle Jamieson, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

"I am incredibly proud to receive this award," Root said. 

"I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award."

 

Root scored more than three times as many runs as any of his team-mates last year, with Rory Burns (530) and Jonny Bairstow (391) next on the list.

He is only the second Englishman to claim the accolade after Alastair Cook in 2011. 

The award had been won by an Australian player on five of the last seven occasions it has been handed out, with Pat Cummins the most recent winner in 2019.

Elsewhere, Afridi's team-mate Babar Azam was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year on Monday after scoring 405 runs in six games at an average of 67.50.

And fellow Pakistan star Rizwan was crowned men's T20I Cricketer of the Year on Sunday, with England's Tammy Beaumont claiming the women's equivalent.

Rizwan, Babar and Afridi were also included in the ICC T20I Team of 2021, alongside the likes of Jos Butler, Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood.

ICC Teams of the Year

Men's T20I Team of 2021: Jos Butler (ENG), Mohammad Rizwan (PAK, WK), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Aiden Markram (SA), Mitchell Marsh (AUS), David Miller (SA), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Tabraiz Shamsi (SA), Josh Hazlewood (AUS), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

Men's ODI Team of 2021: Paul Stirling (IRE), Janneman Malan (SA), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Fakhar Zaman (PAK), Rassie van der Dussen (SA), Shakib Al-Hasan (BANG), Mushfiqur Rahim (BANG, WK), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Simi Singh (IRE), Dushmantha Chameera (SL)

Men's Test Team of 2021: Dimuth Karunaratne (SL), Rohit Sharma (India), Marnus Labuschagne (AUS), Joe Root (ENG), Kane Williamson (NZ), Fawad Alam (PAK), Rishabh Pant (IND, WK), Ravichandran Ashwin (IND), Kyle Jamison (NZ), Hasan Ali (PAK), Shaheen Afridi (PAK). 

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