The “Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy” for Cricketer of the Year was awarded to Babar Azam.
After winning the ODI Player of the Year award, national team captain Babar Azam also bagged the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the best cricketer of the year.
In 2022, he excelled in all three formats and scored 2,598 runs at an average of 54.12 with a total of 8 centuries and 17 fifties, which is also his best performance in a single year so far. Being the captain of the national team continued to score runs in 2022 like in 2021 and scored 679 runs with the help of 8 half-centuries in 9 ODIs and bagged the ODI Player of the Year award for the second year in a row.
The year was memorable for the national team captain in Test cricket as well and he scored 1184 runs in 9 matches, including a best knock of 195 against Australia. Babar’s innings against Australia in the Karachi Test match was the most memorable innings of the year where he single-handedly deprived the Australian team of victory.
The national team was bowled out for just 148 runs in the first innings of this match and the visiting team got an Indian lead of 408 runs and gave Pakistan a big target of 506 runs for victory. In pursuit of the target, the national team lost two wickets for only 21 runs, but on this occasion, after establishing a partnership of 228 runs with Abdullah Shafiq, Babar also added 115 runs with Rizwan and batted for 10 hours to score a beautiful 195 runs. The innings is the highest score by any captain in the fourth innings of Test cricket. Babar Azam could not make a double century, but thanks to this wonderful inning, he deprived Australia of a sure victory and made this inning the most memorable innings of his career.
Babar Azam got this honor as well as the ODI Cricketer of the Year award. In its statement, ICC said that the star batsman played only 9 matches in 2022 in which he scored 679 runs with 3 centuries and 5 fifties at an average of 84.87. Babar Azam played several brilliant innings in ODI cricket during 2022, including a memorable knock of 114 against Australia in Lahore at the end of March.
Well-known sports journalist Mazhar Arshad said about the award received by Babar Azam that no Pakistani cricketer had received this honor before him. After losing the series opener against a tough team like Australia, Pakistan needed to win this match to stay in the series and Babar Azam played brilliant innings when his country needed it the most. In this match, the green shirts chased down a huge target of 349 runs and achieved the target with just 6 balls to spare with the loss of 4 wickets.
It must be acknowledged that Babar Azam was also named ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year last year. In the year 2021, he played only 6 ODIs in which he scored 405 runs at an average of 67.50, after which he was declared eligible for the award.
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