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Tuesday January 31, 2023

ICC names Babar Azam captain of Men's ODI Team of 2022

The 28-year-old, who played nine matches in 2022, registered eight scores of more than fifty

By Web Desk
January 24, 2023
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. — AFP
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. — AFP

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday revealed the Men's ODI Team of the Year 2022, with Pakistan star batter Babar Azam as the team captain. 

ICC included players in the year's team based on their performance in all three departments of the game. 

The 28-year-old, who played nine matches in 2022, registered eight scores of more than fifty. He finished the year with 679 runs at a mammoth average of 84.87

"Pakistan captain Babar Azam once again showed his prowess in the 50-over format, displaying once again why he has ruled the roost at the top of the ICC Men's ODI Player Rankings since July 2021," the ICC said in a press release.

ICC ODI Team of the Year 2022 — ICC
ICC ODI Team of the Year 2022 — ICC

"It was a memorable year for Babar as captain of the Pakistan ODI team, winning three series out of three. Pakistan were unstoppable in the ODI format, losing just one match (against Australia) out of nine. His leadership skills means that he leads the ICC Men's ODI Team of the Year for 2022," it added.

It must be noted that Babar was also captain of the ICC ODI Team of the Year in 2021.

The Pakistan skipper has been slotted in the lineup at the top alongside Australia's Travis Head.

"Usually an attacking middle-order batter, Head brilliantly reinvented himself as an opener in ODIs, becoming one of Australia's most consistent batters in the format. It was a year to remember for Head — who became one of the first names on the Australian team sheet — notching up 550 runs from nine games at 68.75," the ICC said. "His runs came at a strike-rate of 112.24 and included two centuries and three fifties."

It was rare to see a player from Zimbabwe in the lineup but Sikandar Raza would have surely been one of the first names after a stellar year on the field.

“2022 witnessed the resurgence of Zimbabwe on the international scene and a lot of it was down to one man – Sikandar Raza. Raza aggregated 645 runs at an average of 49.61 and strike rate of 87.16, making two fifties to complement three centuries,” the ICC stated.

“With ball in hand, Raza was ever-reliable, scalping eight wickets while giving away just more than five an over,” it added.

The other players in the team includes Australia's Adam Zampa, West Indies' Shai Hope and Alzarri Joseph, India's Shreyas Iyer and Mohammad Siraj, New Zealand's Tom Latham and Trent Boult and Bangladesh's Mehidy Hasan Miraz. 

The team 

Babar Azam (c) (Pakistan), Travis Head (Australia), Shai Hope (Barbados), Shreyas Iyer (India), Tom Latham (wc) (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh), Alzarri Joseph (West Indies), Mohammed Siraj (India), Trent Boult (New Zealand) and Adam Zampa (Australia). 

ICC Men's T20I Team of 2022

However, the star player missed out on the Men's T20I Team of the Year 2022. The Men In Greens' Haris Rauf and Mohammad Rizwan made it to the T20I squad of the year 2022.

Babar played 26 T20Is in 2022 and scored 735 runs at an average of 31.95 including a century. He also led Pakistan in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and Asia Cup 2022.

Rizwan, who won the best T20I cricketer of the year award in 2021, amassed 996 runs, the second-highest after India's Suryakumar Yadav last year. 

After taking 31 wickets in 2022, Haris has joined the pace attack of the ICC T20I team of the year.

ICC Men's T20I Team of the year contains three players from India, two each from England and Pakistan and a player each from New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Sri Lanka.

The team 

Jos Buttler (c) (England), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan), Virat Kohli (India), Suryakumar Yadav (India), Glenn Phillips (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe). Hardik Pandya (India), Sam Curran (England), Hardik Pandya (India), Wahindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka), Haris Rauf (Pakistan), and Josh Little (Ireland).