Euro 2020 Special

ICC Awards: Babar Azam Wins Gary Sobers Trophy

Babar Azam, the Pakistan captain, has won the prestigious ICC Men’s Player of the Year award and the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy (named after the legendary West Indies all-rounder).

Also honoured were the English pair of Ben Stokes and Nat Sciver, whilst India was represented among the winners by Suryakumar Yadav and Renuka Singh.


Babar Azam

Babar led Pakistan to two Twenty20 finals in 2022, where they lost to Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup and to England in the World Cup, and scored nearly 2,600 international runs in all formats of the game at an average of 54.

No other player exceeded 2,000 runs.

He was also named ODI Cricketer of the Year for the second successive time, emulating the feat of Virat Kohli. That was after leading Pakistan to victory in three ODIs series and passing 50 on eight occasions out of the nine matches played.


Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes, who himself is a previous recipient of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, was named Test Player of the Year. That is in recognition of how he has help revamp the format since taking over as England test captain, playing a brand of attacking cricket that has become known as ‘Bazball”.

Having previously won just one test in 17 matches prior to taking the captaincy, England have won nine out of 10 since he took the job, including a whitewash of New Zealand and Pakistan in their own backyard (a country in which England had previously only won two ever tests).

He is the third England test captain to win the award after Alistair Cook in 2011 and Stokes’ predecessor Joe Root in 2021. Stokes was also named in the test team of the year alongside England colleagues Jonny Bairstow and Jimmy Anderson.


Nat Sciver

England all-rounder Nat Sciver won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the Women’s Cricketer of the Year. And like Azam, she also took home the ODI award.

In her 33 international matches in 2022, she took 22 wickets and scored 1,346 runs, scoring five 50s and two centuries. She also made 148 in a losing cause as England lost to Australia in the World Cup final last March.

Sciver took time out from the game mid-season for a mental health break, but returned in time to help England clean sweep the West Indies in December and will be their vice-captain for the forthcoming T20I World Cup in South Africa.

She is also expected to be one of the most sought after international stars in the auction for the new Indian women’s T20 league.


Suryakumar Yadav

Yadav’s award as the T20I Player of the Year was richly deserved.

He became only the second player to score more than 1,000 runs a year in the format and ended the year with 1,164 runs to his name, and a strike rate of 187.43 and an average of 46.56.

In addition, he set a new record of 68 sixes in a calendar year in the format and also notched up two centuries and nine 50s in Indian colours.

The first Indian player to win the award, he currently tops the ICC T20I batter rankings.

He had an outstanding World Cup, scoring 239 runs at an average close to 60 with half centuries against South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands.


Renuka Singh

Indian fast bowler Renuka Singh was named Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year.

In 29 matches across the two white ball formats, she took 18 ODI and 22 T20I wickets and ably stepped into the void left by the retired Jhulan Goswani.

One of the highlights of her year was taking four wickets against the World Champions Australia in the Commonwealth Games with her spell also including 16 dot balls.

She is tipped for a bright future in the game because of her ability to swing the ball both ways and also to get movement off the pitch.


Other award winners

Tahlia McGrath of Australia was named Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year, having scored 435 runs during 2022 at an average of more than 62, helping her country winning Commonwealth gold in the process.

Her rise to the top has been swift given that she only made her international debut in December 2021.

Meanwhile, Marco Janssen of South Africa has been given the Men’s Emerging Player of the Year award.




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