The top performers across the men's and women's international game are celebrated in this year's ICC Awards.
From an ICC Men's T20 World Cup, to multi-format women's series and a host of Test and limited overs action, 2021 has been a year of highlights and stunning individual efforts.
Ranging from the emergence of South Africa's Janneman Malan, to the run-churning T20 exploits of Tammy Beaumont and the astute leadership of Zeeshan Maqsood, the international game has seen a number faces, new and old, stamp their mark on international cricket.
Here are the recipients of this year's ICC Awards, celebrating the achievements of those at the pinnacle of the sport, with a number of awards to be announced over the course of the day.
ICC Umpire of the Year – Marais Erasmus
Standing in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand, Marais Erasmus has led the way in his officiating, earning the respect of his peers and the international cricket fraternity.
The 2021 ICC Umpire of the Year Award sits alongside his successive Dave Shepherd Trophies, won in 2016 and 2017.
On top of the T20 World Cup final, Erasmus has overseen 20 international fixtures across the three formats in 2021.
ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year – Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)
1326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 73.66 with one century; 24 dismissals.
Making his maiden T20I century in February against South Africa, Rizwan propelled his form into the T20 World Cup, making 79* from just 55 balls against India in their T20 World Cup opener, and finished as the third-highest run-scorer in the competition.
ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year – Tammy Beaumont (England)
303 runs in nine matches at an average of 33.66 with three half-centuries.
Providing a bank of runs for her country, Beaumont was Player of the Series in an away series against New Zealand, and the highest run-scorer when the teams met on English soil later in the year.
ICC Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year – Janneman Malan (South Africa)
715 runs in 17 international matches at 47.66 Average and 101.85 strike-rate, including two centuries and three fifties.
After sliding in and out of the team for the best part of two years, Janneman Malan finally cemented a spot in South Africa's line-up, taking a liking to the fifty-over game especially.
The 25-year-old made 715 runs across the two formats, which included an unbeaten 177 against Ireland in Dublin, and a knock of 121 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Fatima Sana (Pakistan)
24 wickets at an average of 23.95 and 165 runs at 16.50 in 16 international matches.
20-year-old Pakistani pacer Fatima Sana impressed one and all with her all-round efforts in 2021. She became an integral part of Pakistan's ODI and T20I side owing to her wicket-taking ability as a bowler, and ability to add handy runs down the order at the same time.
ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year – Zeeshan Maqsood (Oman)
316 runs at 31.60 and 21 wickets at 18.80 across 13 international matches.
It was a memorable year for Maqsood, leading his nation at a T20 World Cup on home soil.
On top of that honour, Maqsood led with his play, picking up Player of the Match honours in their tournament win over Papua New Guinea with bowling figures of 4/20.
Maqsood's Oman are also well-positioned in Cricket World Cup League 2, off the back of his work with both ball and bat.
ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year – Andrea-Mae Zepeda (Austria)
361 runs in eight T20Is at an average of 51.57 and strike-rate of 102.55, including a century and two fifties.
Zepeda was in destructive form for Austria, particularly against rivals Belgium, making 50+ scores, including a century, in all three matches against them.
ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year – Babar Azam (Pakistan)
405 runs in six matches at an average of 67.50 with two centuries
Babar Azam might have played only six ODis in 2021, but he made vital contributions in the two series that Pakistan played this year.
He was the second-highest run-scorer with 228 runs and was the Player of the Match in both of Pakistan's wins in the 2-1 series victory against South Africa. The architect of Pakistan's chase of 274 in the first ODI, Babar made a century and laid the foundation with an 82-ball 94 in the final ODI where the visitors posted 320 batting first.
ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year – Lizelle Lee (South Africa)
632 runs in 11 matches at an average of 90.28 with one century and five half-centuries
Lizelle Lee was in a league of her own in ODIs this year, finishing as the highest run-scorer in 2021 in the format.
Lee's year got off to a less-than-ideal start, getting out for a duck in the first ODI against Pakistan, but she came back strongly with two scores of 40+ and played a vital role in South Africa's sweep.
ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year – Joe Root (England)
1708 runs in 15 matches with six centuries.
The magnitude of Joe Root's sublime form in the year 2021 can be summed up by one simple stat – he has become only the third player in history to aggregate over 1700 runs in Test cricket in a calendar year. Only Mohammad Yousuf and Sir Vivian Richards stand ahead of him.
Be it Asia or conditions back at home and against a range of bowling, Root has almost conquered all with some sublime innings. His knocks in Galle against Sri Lanka, and against India in both Chennai and Lord's are some of the finest witnessed in the modern era, and will be spoken of highly for a long, long time. He hasn't been shabby with the ball as well, chipping in with a handy 14 wickets.
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Smriti Mandhana (India)
855 runs in 22 internationals at an average of 38.86 with one century and five half-centuries.
Despite India enduring a difficult 2021, Smriti Mandhana's stock continued to rise this year.
In the limited-overs series against South Africa where India won just two of the eight matches at home, Mandhana played a major role in both of the wins. She made 80 not out as India chased down 158 in the second ODI that helped them level the series and scored 48 not out in the win in the final T20I.
Mandhana played a sublime innings of 78 in the first innings of the one-off Test against England that ended in a draw. She played an important knock of 49 in India's only win in the ODI series. Her 15-ball 29 and fifty in the T20I series went in vain though as India fell short in both the matches and lost the series 2-1.
Mandhana was in good touch in the series against Australia, starting with the ODI series where she scored 86 in the second ODI. She compiled a brilliant century in the only Test (the first of her career), and was awarded the Player of the Match. She scored her second T20I fifty of the year in the final T20I, though India fell short and lost the series 2-0.
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year – Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20. Best bowling figures of 6/51.
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.
ICC Spirit of Cricket Award – Daryl Mitchell (New Zealand)
Daryl becomes the fourth New Zealand player to win the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, following the footsteps of Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson. Mitchell wins the award for refusing to take a single in the high-pressure T20 World Cup semi-final against England in Abu Dhabi on November 10, 2021.
New Zealand were on course for the run chase with a well-settled Mitchell establishing a partnership with James Neesham, who was in blistering form. The incident occurred on the first ball of the 18th over bowled by Adil Rashid, with the score at 133/4.
Neesham bashed the ball down the ground and it would have been an easy single. But Mitchell, at the non-striker's end, refused to take the run, conceding that he had impeded Rashid – in a high-pressure chase, with a place in the World Cup final at stake, Mitchell's gesture oozed class.
Eventually, New Zealand ended up winning the contest, chasing the total down with an over to spare. Mitchell who opened the batting proved to be the match-winner, playing a memorable knock of 72* in only 47 deliveries, hitting the winning runs.
ICC Teams of the Year
The ICC Women’s T20I Team of 2021: Smriti Mandhana (IND), Tammy Beaumont (ENG), Danni Wyatt (ENG), Gaby Lewis (IRE), Nat Sciver (ENG, C) Amy Jones (ENG, WK), Laura Wolvaardt (SA), Marizanne Kapp (SA), Sophie Ecclestone (ENG), Loryn Phiri (ZIM) and Shabnim Ismail (SA).
The ICC Men’s T20I Team of 2021: Jos Butler (ENG), Mohammad Rizwan (PAK, WK), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Aiden Markram (SA), Mitchell Marsh (AUS), David Miller (SA), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Tabraiz Shamsi (SA), Josh Hazlewood (AUS), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG) and Shaheen Afridi (PAK).
The ICC Men’s ODI Team of 2021: Paul Stirling (IRE), Janneman Malan (SA), Babar Azam (PAK, C), Fakhar Zaman (PAK), Rassie van der Dussen (SA), Shakib Al-Hasan (BANG), Mushfiqur Rahim (BANG, WK), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL), Mustafizur Rahman (BANG), Simi Singh (IRE) and Dushmantha Chameera (SL)
The ICC Women’s ODI Team of 2021: Lizelle Lee (SA), Alyssa Healy (AUS), Tammy Beaumont (ENG), Mithali Raj (IND), Heather Knight (ENG, C), Marizanne Kapp (SA), Hayley Matthews (WI), Fatima Sana (PAK), Jhulan Goswami (IND), Shabnim Ismail (SA) and Anisa Mohammed (WI).
ICC Men’s Test Team for 2021: Dimuth Karunaratne (SL), Rohit Sharma (India), Marnus Labuschagne (AUS), Joe Root (ENG), Kane Williamson (NZ), Fawad Alam (PAK), Rishabh Pant (IND, WK), Ravichandran Ashwin (IND), Kyle Jamison (NZ), Hasan Ali (PAK) and Shaheen Afridi (PAK).
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