LAHORE: Mohammad Rizwan has won the PCB’s Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year award following a stellar 2021 in which he scored 455 Test, 134 ODI and 1,326 T20I runs, besides accounting for 56 batsmen behind the wickets across all formats.
For the Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year award, Rizwan beat the challenge of Babar Azam, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who also had an impressive and outstanding year, which is reflected through Pakistan’s overall performance in 2021.
In addition to the Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year award, Rizwan was also unanimously selected by an independent panel* as the T20I Cricketer of the Year.
Mohammad Rizwan: “I feel humbled and honoured to have been adjudged Pakistan’s Most Valuable Cricketer of 2021. This is the PCB’s most prestigious award and to be recognised for my contributions in the team’s superlative performances across all formats in 2021 in such a way gives me tremendous satisfaction and happiness.
“I thought I had an exceptional year in the shortest format of the game when I was able to hit a century early in the year against South Africa and then carry that confidence and momentum for the rest of the year. I give a lot of credit to our bowlers who bowled their hearts out and didn’t let the pressure get onto the batters by maintaining sustained pressure on the opponents throughout the year.”
Hasan Ali won the Test Cricketer of the Year for his 41 wickets in nine Tests, including a 10-for and five, five-fors as well as two player of the match and one player of the series awards.
Pakistan all-format captain Babar Azam bagged the ODI Cricketer of the Year award for accumulating 405 runs in six ODIs with two centuries and a half-century.
Hasan Ali: “Test cricket is the pinnacle format of the game and to be adjudged as the Test Cricketer of the Year is a proud moment for me. Last year was sort of a comeback year for me after I had missed international cricket in 2020 due to an injury. I was not only able to make a successful return to international cricket but also played my part in the team’s overall success in 2021.
“Taking 10 wickets against South Africa in Rawalpindi in my second Test in nearly two years and helping Pakistan win the series 2-0 was one of my highlights of the year and a very happy moment that set the stage for the remaining part of the year.”
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s three for 31 against India on 24 October in Dubai in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 won him the Impactful Performance of the Year award. This performance changed the outlook of the side as it not only defeated India by 10 wickets but remained unbeaten in the league matches until they lost a heart-breaking match to Australia in the semi-final. Subsequent to the T20 World Cup, Pakistan remained unbeaten in Bangladesh as well as in the home T20I series against the West Indies.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: “I am extremely happy that my performance against our traditional rivals in a global event has been chosen as the Impactful Performance of the Year. For the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the team wanted an aggressive, fearless and convincing start to set the tone for the rest of the event and I am delighted that I was able to provide exactly that.”
Mohammad Wasim Junior bagged the Emerging Cricketer of the Year for his 45 wickets in 2021, including 15 wickets in his first year of international cricket, while Nida Dar was named as the Women’s Cricketer of the Year after aggregating 604 runs and taking 25 wickets.
Sahibzada Farhan won the Domestic Cricketer of the Year following his 487 runs in the Pakistan Cup, 447 runs in the National T20 and 935 runs in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
For the second successive year, PCB’s elite match officials voted Asif Yaqoob as the Umpire of the Year.
Pakistan cricket team’s visit to the Namibia dressing room following their 45 runs victory to congratulate and appreciate them on their qualification for their maiden ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and reaching the Super-12 stage won them the Spirit of Cricket award.
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja: “On behalf of the PCB, I want to congratulate each award winner. They deserve all the applause and accolades for their tremendous consistency across all formats in difficult times that inspired their sides to outstanding performances throughout 2021, which have been widely acknowledged by the Pakistan cricket fans.”
PCB Awards 2021 winners:
Impactful performance of the year – Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-31 v Ind, T20 World Cup)
Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Mohammad Wasim Jnr (15 international wickets, seven Pakistan Cup wickets, 12 HBL PSL 2021 wickets, five National T20 wickets and six Quaid-e-Azam Trophy wickets)
ODI Cricketer of the Year – Babar Azam (6 ODIs, 405 runs)
Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Nida Dar (10 ODIs, 363 runs and 6 wickets; 6 T20Is, 95 runs and 5 wickets; 146 runs and 14 wickets in Pakistan Women’s Cup)
Test Cricketer of the Year – Hasan Ali (9 Tests, 41 wickets, 5 five-fors, 1 10-for, best match figures 10-114)
T20I Cricketer of the Year – M Rizwan (29 T20Is, 1,326 runs)
Spirit of Cricket – Pakistan cricket team’s visit to the Namibia cricket team’s dressing room following their 45 runs victory to congratulate the Namibia side for qualifying for their maiden ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and then progressing to the Super-12 Stage
Umpire of the Year – Asif Yaqoob (selected by the PCB’s elite match officials)
Domestic Cricketer of the Year – Sahibzada Farhan (1,869 runs in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year – M Rizwan (9 Tests, 455 runs; 6 ODIs, 134 runs; 29 T20Is, 1,326 runs; total dismissal 56)
*INDEPENDENT PANEL – Rashid Latif (chair, former Pakistan captain), Marina Iqbal (former international cricketer and broadcaster), Tariq Saeed (broadcaster), Mazher Arshad (statistician), Majid Bhatti (journalist – Jang), Mohammad Yaqoob (journalist – Dawn), Mohi Shah (journalist – The News), Rizwan Ali (journalist – Associated Press), Shahid Hashmi (journalist – AFP/ARY) and Sohail Imran (journalist – GEO News)