Shaheen Afridi wins ICC Cricketer of the Year award for 2021

Shaheen Afridi wins ICC Cricketer of the Year award for 2021

Shaheen Afridi dominated the proceedings across all formats in 2021.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi. (Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Pakistan pace bowler Shaheen Afridi has won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Player of the Year. Afridi took 47 wickets in nine Test matches at an average of 17.06 in 2021 and was the second-highest wicket-taker. Afridi bowled exceptionally well in the other two formats as well.

In six ODIs in 2021, he took eight wickets in six matches at an average of 41.37, an economy of 6.3, and a strike rate of 39.3. In T20Is, Shaheen picked 23 wickets in 21 matches at an average of 26.04, an economy of 7.86, and a strike rate of 19.8.

Afridi’s best performance came during the T20 World Cup 2021 where he took seven wickets in six matches at an average of 24.14, an economy of 7.04, and a strike rate of 20.5. In the first match against India, Afridi opened the bowling attack for Pakistan. He dismissed Rohit Sharma in the first over for a duck. In the third over, he castled KL Rahul with a beauty of a delivery. He completed his spell after picking the wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli who made 57 runs off 49 deliveries.

India made 151 runs for the loss of seven wickets and Pakistan won the match by ten wickets after a heroic partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. Pakistan defeated India for the very first time in a World Cup event and Afridi won the player of the match award.

Virat Kohli praised Shaheen Afridi’s performance against India in the T20 WC

Afridi received praises for his performance from the cricketing fraternity. Even Virat Kohli appreciated him and mentioned how his bowling spell put pressure on the Indian batting unit. In the post-match conference, Kohli said: “He put our batsmen under pressure immediately with the new ball, and he ran in with intensity and showed that he’s bowling in consistent areas, so as batsmen you are forced to be a bit watchful.”

“That spell kind of put us on the back foot immediately, and from there on to get those extra 20, 25 runs, in the end, seemed pretty difficult when you lose three wickets for 20 runs,” Kohli had said.