The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy went to Shaheen Afridi, who was awarded the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year for 2021, while the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy went to Smriti Mandhana, who was named the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.
Since its introduction in 2004, Afridi has been the first Pakistani to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. In 36 games across all international forms, he grabbed 78 wickets, with his best figures of 6 for 51 coming at the first innings of the second Test against the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. He was also a key player in Pakistan’s first T20 World Cup victory over India, taking 3 for 31 and claiming the wicket of Virat Kohli in the process.
● Mandhana, The Best!
Meanwhile, following Ellyse Perry, Mandhana became the second cricketer to win the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy twice. Mandhana won the title for the second time since 2018. She earned 855 runs in 22 international appearances in 2021, including her first Test century (127 against Australia in India Women’s inaugural pink-ball Test), two T20I half-centuries, one Test fifty, and two ODI fifties.
For the first time in his career, Joe Root was awarded Test Cricketer of the Year, while Babar Azam was voted Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2021, also a first for the Pakistan skipper. The ODI Women’s Cricketer of the Year award went to South Africa’s Lizelle Lee.
Despite England’s deteriorating Test fortunes, Root had a fantastic year, scoring 1708 runs at an average of 61 in 15 matches. He hit six hundreds, including two double tonnes and two scores in the 180s, as well as four fifties. Root also became the first England player to win the Test title since Alastair Cook in 2011, and he was only a few runs behind Mohammad Yousuf (1788) and Viv Richards (1710) for the most Test runs in a calendar year.
Babar became the first Pakistani cricketer to win the ODI award, scoring 405 runs in six matches at an average of 67.50, including two hundreds and a fifty. He even hit a career-high 158 against England in Birmingham, though it was in a losing cause as England, spearheaded by Ben Stokes, chased down a 332 target for a 3-0 clean sweep.
Lee became the first South African to win the Women’s ODI title, scoring 632 runs at an average of 90.28 with one century and five fifties. She also hit an unbeaten 132 in an ODI against India in Lucknow, her greatest score in the format.
Marais Erasmus of South Africa was awarded Umpire of the Year for the third time, following wins in 2016 and 2017. The 57-year-old was the match umpire for the recently finished series between hosts South Africa and India.
Erasmus oversaw 20 international matches across the three formats in 2021, in addition to the T20 World Cup final.
ICC Awards 2021
● Men’s Cricketer of The Year: Shaheen Afridi
● Women’s Cricketer of The Year: Smriti Mandhana
● Men’s Test Cricketer of The Year: Joe Root
● Men’s ODI Cricketer of The Year: Babar Azam
● Women’s ODI Cricketer of The Year: Lizelle Lee
● Men’s T20I Cricketer of The Year: Mohammad Rizwan
● Women’s T20I Cricketer of The Year: Tammy Beaumont
● Emerging Men’s Cricketer of The Year: Janneman Malan
● Emerging Women’s Cricketer of The Year: Fatima Sana
● Men’s Associate Cricketer of The Year: Zeeshan Maqsood
● Women’s Associate Cricketer of The Year: Andrea-Mae Zepeda
● Umpire of The Year: Marais Erasmus