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Babar Azam declared ICC Player of the Month

Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam poses with the trophy after winning the one-day international (ODI) cricket match series against Australia at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on April 2, 2022. AFP   

DUBAI: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been voted the ICC Player of the Month for March 2022 on the back of his excellent performance during the Australian series.

He defeated West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Australia skipper Pat Cummins for the coveted monthly award.

The star batter was at his brilliant best throughout March, with his superb 196 in the second Test against Australia in Karachi and becomes the first player to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award on two occasions, having won the title in April 2021.

In the recently concluded Benaud-Qadir Trophy, Babar Azam finished as the third-highest run-scorer after Usman Khawaja and Abdullah Shafique. In his five outings, he scored 390 runs at an average of 78, including two half-centuries and a century. The highlight of the series was his match-saving 196 in the second innings of the second Test in Karachi.

The Pakistani skipper continued his outstanding form in the ODI series, playing vital knocks in the first two games. In the first ODI, he notched up a score of 57 in Pakistan’s 88-run loss before scoring a brilliant 118 to lead Pakistan to a six-wicket win in the second contest.

“Babar Azam wins this award not only because of his significant glut of runs scored during the Pakistan v Australia tour, he was able to transition success with the bat across formats, from the Test Series into ODIs,” said former West Indies star and member of the voting panel Daren Ganga.

“Significantly, him being able to fulfil the burden of expectation as a captain and batsman for Pakistan being host to an Australian team visiting after 24 years is a monumental achievement.” 

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