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Babar Azam named ICC Men’s Cricketer and ODI Player of the Year

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Last updated on 26 Jan 2023 | 06:45 AM
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Babar Azam named ICC Men’s Cricketer and ODI Player of the Year

He was the only player to breach the 2000-run mark during the calendar year across all formats

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been named 2022's ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year and ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year. The right-handed batter amassed 2598 runs in 44 matches at an average of 54.12, with eight centuries and 15 half-centuries, across three formats.

He was the only player to breach the 2000-run mark during the calendar year across all formats. In nine ODIs last year, Babar slammed 679 runs, averaging 84.87, with three centuries, cementing his place as one of the best batters from 2022.

Since July 2021, Babar has held onto the No.1 spot in the Men’s ODI Player Rankings, and has only continued to grow leap and bounds in the ODI format. Barring one occasion, the right-hander has registered three centuries and five half-centuries in the year. And, it has directly resulted in Pakistan’s success in the 50-over format, with just one loss in the format last year. 

It was also the year that saw Pakistan chase down 349, which also happens to be their highest-ever successful ODI chases. And in that clash, Babar was instrumental with a 114, that took the visitors Australia by complete surprise, as the hosts registered a famous win with six balls remaining. 

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

On the other hand, England's Nat Sciver has been named as the Women's ODI Player of the year. Sciver was in scintillating form in 2022, with 833 runs and 11 wickets in just 17 clashes, showing why she is one of the best in the women's sport. 

Even though she finished second on the run charts, behind Laura Wolvaardt, she was integral to England's run in the final of the 2022 Women's ODI World Cup. Even in the final, Sciver put on a show with an unbeaten 148 but was overshadowed by Alyssa Healy, who won the clash for Australia. 

If not for the untimely dismissals at the other end, it could have been England lifting the Women's ODI World Cup.

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