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Sizzling spells, sheer display of pace and swing and some magical moments, the winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Player of the Year Shaheen Afridi, had a year to remember in 2021.
The speed star becomes first Pakistan player to win ICC Cricketer of the Year award.
The tall Pakistani quick 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.
He would take 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 by leaps and bounds.
After a slow start to the year in Test cricket in New Zealand, Afridi burst to life 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.
Swing, seam, sheer pace and sizzling yorkers – Shaheen Shah Afridi gave an exhibition of it all in the year 2021.
A high-pressure encounter against India in Dubai beckoned in October. The T20 World Cup tournament opener for both sides with the history well and truly against Pakistan. But Afridi's opening burst changed it all and evoked audible gasps from one and all at the wizardry on display.
He would first trap Rohit Sharma with a late in-dipper. This would be followed by the dismissal of KL Rahul, who saw his stumps knocked over with another peach of a delivery. India simply could not recover from this, slumping to their first-ever defeat against Pakistan at a World Cup. Later on, he would also get the prized scalp of Virat Kohli in the death overs.
The numbers (3/31) simply do not do justice to what everyone witnessed from Shaheen on that fateful day in Dubai.
Shaheen Afridi – 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20. Best bowling figures of 6/51.
All the winners of the 2021 ICC Awards-
ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year – Lizelle Lee (South Africa)
ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year – Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)
ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year – Joe Root (England)
ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year – Babar Azam (Pakistan)
ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year – Tammy Beaumont (England)
ICC Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year – Janneman Malan (South Africa)
ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Fatima Sana (Pakistan)
ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year – Zeeshan Maqsood (Oman)
ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year – Andrea-Mae Zepeda (Austria)
ICC Umpire of the Year – Marais Erasmus