Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has been named as ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year. He is the first Pakistani and the youngest ever player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. Shaheen took 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20 with his best bowling figures of 6/51.
The 21-year-old was on fire throughout 2021, knocking some of the best batters over across all three formats of the game. He especially had a year to remember in Tests and T20Is, reaching his peak during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in UAE where he impressed one and all with his sheer speed and skills.
Shaheen took seven wickets in six matches during the tournament in Pakistan’s run to the semi-final. He ruled the shortest format throughout the calendar year, scalping 23 wickets in 21 matches with his death bowling improving rapidly.
After a slow start to the year in Test cricket in New Zealand, Afridi turned the tables during the home series against South Africa. He continued his brilliant form throughout the rest of the year in the away tours of Zimbabwe, West Indies and Bangladesh. Overall, he claimed 47 wickets in only nine matches at a staggering average of 17.06.
Afridi’s perfect spell against India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 was the cherry on the top, taking 3 wickets of just 31 runs. Afridi sent then captain Virat Kohli, openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma to the pavillion.
Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), taking to Twitter, said: “incredible3 The world of cricket is richer and so watchable because of you. A proud moment for the fans who through you can now see a new beginning… @iMRizwanPak @babarazam258 @iShaheenAfridi @ICCAwards.”
Several people congratulated the cricketer on his achievement, including the PCB and former captain Shahid Afridi.