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Babar Azam named ICC’s ODI Player of the Year for second time in a row

Pakistan captain Babar Azam received the ICC’s ODI Player of the Year award for 2022 following a stellar 2021.

The batting prodigy did it a day after being appointed captain of the 2022 ICC ODI Team of the Year.

“There were match-winning runs, spell-binding stroke-play and memorable moments from a personal viewpoint and his team in 2022 as Pakistan skipper Babar Azam received ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year Award for a second consecutive year,” the ICC stated.

The ICC recalled Babar’s best moments of the year.

Memorable year
The “ultra-consistent right-hander retained his lead” as the top hitter on the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings in 2022, even better than 2021.

Babar has held it since July 2021 and is unlikely to relinquish it.

The prolific hitter only played nine ODI matches in 2022, yet he scored three centuries, five half-centuries, and only one failure.

“Babar succeeded not only individually but also as a team captain, leading Pakistan to just one loss all year.”

Great show
In March 2022, the 28-year-old scored an astounding 114 against Australia in Lahore.

After losing the series opener to an always-difficult Australian side, Pakistan needed Babar to help them chase down a big 349 total with four wickets and six deliveries to spare.

Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-118-run Haq’s opening stand set the stage for Babar’s run chase masterpiece.

Babar’s brilliant shot-making almost won the match when his team needed 231 from 187 balls.

He scored his fastest ODI century in 73 balls and stayed until the 45th over with the win in sight.

Pakistan’s inspiring skipper was crowned Player of the Match after the rest of the batters completed their highest-ever ODI chase.