Babar Azam picked for ODI Cricketer of the Year-Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy

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LAHORE: It was double delight for Pakistan skipper Babar Azam as he was picked for both the 'ODI Cricketer of the Year' and the 'Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men's Cricketer of 2022' on Thursday.

Babar, who had won the 'ODI Cricketer of the Year' award in 2021, continued to dominate world cricket and was the only player to score more than 2000 runs in 2022 across the formats.

Babar amassed 2,598 runs at an imposing average of 54.12.

The Pakistani cricketer scored eight hundreds and 17 fifties during the calendar year -- the best of his career.

In ODIs, he scored 679 runs in nine matches at an average of 84.87 with three centuries and it was no surprise to see the 28-year-old win the title for the second successive year. He continues to hold on to the top spot in the ODI Player Rankings.

Pakistan's only loss in 50-over cricket last year came against Australia in Lahore.

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 at the hands of Australia.

In the T20I format, he led Pakistan to the World Cup final in Australia, their first since 2009 as they finished runners-up to England.

Babar also enjoyed a tremendous year in Tests, accumulating 1,184 runs from just nine matches and did the bulk of the heavy lifting for Pakistan in the longer format.

He scored an epic 196 not out in a 10-hour marathon second-innings knock that took Pakistan from an inevitable defeat to almost pull off an improbable win in the drawn Karachi Test.

"I feel humbled to have been voted as winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy and join the ranks of some of the most iconic and respected names who have previously won the biggest and most prestigious individual award in our great sport," he said. "I continue to look up to these players as well as champions of the past for inspiration, motivation and improvement.

"As cricket is a team sport, this recognition and achievement would not have been possible without the overwhelming support of my family, team, fans and the institution, to all of whom I am greatly indebted and thankful."

Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Najam Sethi heaped praise on Babar for prevailing in the ICC Awards 2022.

“Babar Azam made the whole nation proud by winning the most prestigious ICC Awards,” said Sethi and called Babar a role model for all the young cricketers in the country.

“Babar Azam’s performance and achievements are a reward for his hard work, dedication and determination and he’s a beacon for all the young cricketers of Pakistan,” he said.

Sethi also congratulated Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan and Nida Dar for being named in the ICC T20 Teams of the Year.

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