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Babar Azam wins ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has been named Men’s ODI Player of the Year for a second consecutive year by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The 28-year-old scored 679 runs from just nine ODI matches last year, boasting an impressive 84.87 average. He also hit three centuries and five half-centuries in 2022.

The star batsman has also held his number one ranking on ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings since July 2021.

The ICC showered praise on Babar for his role as the Pakistan captain and highlighted his 114-runs knock against Australia in Lahore as the most memorable performance.

The visitors had put themselves in a dominating position after they posted a mammoth 349 runs target, with Ben McDermott smashing a superb century.

However, the Green Shirts refused to give up easily and made a solid start through openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq.

But when Azam came to the pitch, they still required 231 from 187 balls. He frustrated the Australian bowlers and reached the three figures from just 73 balls, with the century his fastest ever in ODI cricket.

The 28-year-old finally departed in the 45th over but his brilliant innings meant Pakistan chased the target at the expense of four wickets and with six deliveries remaining.

Babar is now gearing up for the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which is set to begin on February 13.

Defending champions Lahore Qalandars will be in action against Multan Sultans in the opening match at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

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