ICC Awards: Shaheen Afridi, Smriti Mandhana bag top honours

ICC Awards: Shaheen Afridi, Smriti Mandhana bag top honours | Acrux Sports

Shaheen Afridi was the recipient of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy as he was named the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year for 2021 while Smriti Mandhana bagged the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for Women's Cricketer of the Year.

Afridi became the first Pakistan cricketer to bag the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy since its inception in 2004. He picked up 78 wickets in 36 games across all international formats, with best figures of 6 for 51 which he took in the first innings of the second Test against West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. He was also one of the important contributors in Pakistan's first victory against India in the T20 World Cup, picking up 3 for 31 including the wicket of Virat Kohli in the game in Dubai in October 2021.

"I tried to produce good performances for Pakistan in 2021. Even our team played well and we won some good matches. I have always tried to produce good performances for Pakistan and hopefully I'll continue doing that," Afridi said in a video message posted by the ICC, and termed his T20 World Cup effort against India as his best. "I had many good performances, including five-fors in Tests. But the most memorable one for me would be the match we won against India. It was a historical game and plenty of people watch India matches. Performing against India was the highlight of 2021 for me."

Meanwhile, Mandhana became only the second cricketer after Ellyse Perry to win the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy twice. Mandhana, who previously bagged the award in 2018, scored 855 runs in 22 international appearances in 2021, which included her maiden Test century - 127 against Australia in India Women's first pink-ball Test - apart from two T20I half-centuries, one Test fifty and two fifties in ODIs.

"A recognition of such high class from the global governing body of cricket in an exceptional and difficult year will motivate me to continue to better my game and contribute to Team India's success going forward. I look forward to 2022 with a clear focus on winning the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand as we continue to prepare as a team and unit," Mandhana said.

Joe Root won the Test Cricketer of the Year award for the first time in his career while Babar Azam was named the Men's ODI Cricketer for 2021, with the Pakistan captain also winning the award for the first time. South Africa's Lizelle Lee bagged the ODI Women's Cricketer of the Year award.

Despite England's dwindling Test fortunes, Root had a terrific year as he finished with 1708 runs in 15 matches at an average of 61. He scored six hundreds - two of which were double tons and two scores in the 180s - along with four fifties. Root was also the first England player to bag the Test award since Alastair Cook in 2011 while he fell only marginally short of Mohammad Yousuf (1788) and Viv Richards (1710) who occupy the top two positions for the most Test runs in a calendar year.

"It has been my best 12 months with the bat in what has been a challenging period for the England Test team. From a personal point of view, I felt in good form and relaxed at the crease," said Root. "My hope for 2022 is that I can build on my individual performances for what promises to be a crucial 12-month campaign for the England Men's Test team."

Babar was the first Pakistan cricketer to win the ODI award as he finished with 405 runs in six matches, averaging 67.50, with two hundreds and a fifty. He even scored a career-best 158 against England in Birmingham, although his knock came in a losing cause as the Ben Stokes-led England team chased down a target of 332 for a 3-0 clean sweep.

Lee, who scored 632 runs at an average of 90.28 with one century and five fifties, became the first South African to win the Women's ODI award. She also registered her highest score in ODIs when she struck an unbeaten 132 against India in Lucknow.

Mohammad Rizwan was the winner of the newly-constituted Male T20I Cricketer of the Year as the ICC did away with the best T20I Performance of the Year award. The Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter had a superb year as he scored 1326 runs in 26 innings at an average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 134.89, with one hundred and 12 fifties. He became the first to score more than 1000 T20I runs in a calendar year.

Tammy Beaumont was named the Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year. She bacame the first player from the England Women's team to win the award since Sarah Taylor clinched the award in both 2012 and 2013. Beaumont scored 303 runs in nine innings, averaging 33.66, with three fifties. She was England's highest run-getter in Women's T20Is in the year while she was the third best in the world for 2021.

South Africa's Janneman Malan and Pakistan's Fatima Sana were named the Emerging Cricketers of 2021. Malan scored 715 runs in 17 internationals at an average of 47.66, with two hundreds and three fifties. Sana, the 20-year-old pace-bowling allrounder, picked up 24 wickets at an average of 23.95 while she scored 165 runs at 16.50 in 16 international matches.

2021 ICC Awards

Award Winner
Men's Cricketer of The Year Shaheen Afridi
Women's Cricketer of The Year Smriti Mandhana
Men's Test Cricketer of The Year Joe Root
Men's ODI Cricketer of The Year Babar Azam
Women's ODI Cricketer of The Year Lizelle Lee
Men's T20I Cricketer of The Year Mohammad Rizwan
Women's T20I Cricketer of The Year Tammy Beaumont
Emerging Men's Cricketer of The Year Janneman Malan
Emerging Women's Cricketer of The Year Fatima Sana
Men's Associate Cricketer of The Year Zeeshan Maqsood
Women's Associate Cricketer of The Year Andrea-Mae Zepeda
Umpire of The Year Marais Erasmus