Pakistan’s ace left-arm pacer, Shaheen Afridi has been announced as the player of the year by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Shaheen’s magnificent performances in all three formats of the game in 2021 have been rewarded as he becomes the first Pakistani player to bag the prestigious award.
Shaheen becomes the fourth Pakistani player to win the ICC awards this year. Previously, Mohammad Rizwan was announced as the T20I player of the year, Babar Azam was announced as the ODI player of the year and Fatima Sana was announced as the emerging player of the year. Shaheen’s award completes a historic year for Pakistani cricketers as the Green Shirts ruled the ICC awards for 2021.
The 21-year old was exceptional in all three formats. He finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 47 wickets at an average of 17.06 in 9 matches. He picked up 8 wickets at an average of 41.37 in 6 ODIs he played in the calendar year and he picked up 23 wickets at an average of 26.04 and an economy rate of 7.86 in 21 T20I matches in 2021.
Shaheen’s performances led Pakistan to a historic 20 wins in T20Is in the calendar year, the most by any team. Pakistan also had the highest Test win percentage in the year due to his incredible performances in red-ball cricket.
The express pacer revealed that his best performance in the year came against arch-rivals India in the 2021 T20 World Cup. Shaheen dismantled India’s top-order as Pakistan registered a convincing 10-wicket victory over their opponents.