PCB Awards: Babar Azam named 'Most Valuable Cricketer'
Pakistan captain Babar Azam was named the 'Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year' in the PCB awards on Friday. The 26-year-old was also adjudged the 'White-ball Cricketer of the Year' after a stellar season. Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan, the stand-in captain for Pakistan's first Test against New Zealand, bagged the 'Test Cricketer of the Year award'. Here is more on the same.
Babar was in sublime touch last year, having averaged over 50 across formats. He amassed 338 runs from four Tests at 67.60, including a ton. Furthermore, he racked up 221 ODI and 276 T20I runs at 110.50 and 55.20 respectively. He was among runs as Pakistan toured England after the COVID-enforced break. As a result, he was rewarded with the captaincy in all three formats.
Among other cricketers, wicket-keeper Rizwan won the Test Cricketer of the Year award. He aggregated 302 Test runs at an average of 43.14, and also inflicted 13 dismissals. Notably, he averaged 40.25 in England and presently has an average of over 60 in New Zealand. During the last season, he also replaced Sarfaraz Ahmed as Pakistan's mainstay wicket-keeper across formats.
Middle-order batsman Fawad Alam claimed the 'Individual Performance of the Year' award. He earned the recognition for his terrific century against New Zealand in the recently-concluded first Test. Besides, young fast bowler Naseem Shah was named Men's Emerging International Cricketer of the Year. The 17-year-old, who impressed with his express pace, ended with 12 wickets from five internationals last year.
Alam's 102 off 269 balls in the second innings brought back Pakistan into the contest against New Zealand. However, his dismissal ended their hopes. This was Alam's first hundred in Test cricket after over a decade, as his last ton came in 2009 (debut Test).
Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year - Babar Azam Test Cricketer of the Year - Mohammad Rizwan White-ball Cricketer of the Year - Babar Azam Individual Performance of the Year - Fawad Alam (102 vs NZ, 1st Test) Women's Cricketer of the Year - Aliya Riaz Domestic Cricketer of the Year - Kamran Ghulam Men's Emerging International Cricketer of the Year - Naseem Shah
Other awards: Corporate Achievement of the Year - First-ever HBL PSL 2020 in Pakistan, Men's Emerging Cricketer of the Year - Rohail Nazir, Women's Emerging Cricketer of the Year - Fatima Sana, Umpire of the Year - Asif Yaqoob