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Babar Azam named captain of ICC ODI team of the year

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced its ODI team of the year featuring two Pakistani players — Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman — with the former given the reins to captain the honorary line-up, just as in the T20I eleven.

The cricket body had unveiled its T20I team of the year a day ago, naming Azam as its skipper for his “classy best” performance in the format last year, during which he was also the leading run-scorer at the T20 World Cup. He earned the same honours for the 50-over format as well.

The 11-member ODI team announced today comprises Babar Azam (c), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Rassie van der Dussen, Shakib Al Hasan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mustafizur Rahman, Simi Singh and Dushmantha Chameera.

The ICC, in its statement, noted that Azam played just six ODI matches last year, “but he still managed to score 405 runs at an average of 67.50 with two centuries.”

The talismanic Pakistan skipper made vital contributions on tough away tours of South Africa and England, ending up with player of the match awards in both their victories in the former, said the ICC.

“He also scored a memorable ton in Birmingham in conditions that assisted the seamers.”

The ICC also commended Zaman for his “stellar run” in the national side’s ODI matches in 2021.

It said the opener played six matches and aggregated 365 runs at an average of 60.83 with two centuries. Zaman’s century against South Africa impressed the ICC the most, which, according to the cricket body, will be “remembered for ages”.

The T20I team, announced by the ICC yesterday, featured Jos Butler, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Aiden Markram, Mitchell Marsh, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasanranga, Mustafizur Rahman and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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