LAHORE: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday unveiled its T20I team of the year with three players from Pakistan — Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi are included while no Indian player could a spot in the ICC T20I Team of the Year.
Babar Azam, who captains the Pakistan side, has been named the skipper of the ICC team for the shortest format. The Pakistan skipper was at his classy best in the shortest format in 2021, leaving his best at the T20 World Cup where he ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer. Overall, Babar Azam played 29 matches and aggregated 939 runs at an average of 37.56 with one century and nine half-centuries. His captaincy was also praised as he led his team to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.
While Mohammad Rizwan was picked as a wicketkeeper-batter.
The Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter ruled the roost in 2021 when it came to the shortest format of the game. Aggregating a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches, Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89. Apart from his exploits with the bat, he was as solid as ever behind the stumps, playing a key role in Pakistan’s run to the semis during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer.
Following a stellar year, Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Shaheen is also included in the XI. It was a year for remember for Shaheen Afridi, especially in the shortest form of the game. Extracting brilliant movement with the new ball and reversing it with the old, Afridi picked up 23 wickets in 21 matches at an average of 26.04 and an economy of 7.86. Still only 21, Shaheen will likely lead the Pakistan pace bowling unit for years to come and with already rapid improvements in his bowling, he will undoubtedly prove to be a fearsome prospect.
The ICC T20I Team of the Year consists of Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Jos Butler, Aiden Markram, Mitchell Marsh, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasanranga, Mustafizur Rahman and Shaheen Shah Afridi