PCB Awards 2020: Babar Azam named Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year

Rizwan, Fawad, Aliya, Naseem win accolades in respective categories

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced the winners of its awards for the year 2020.

The PCB posted the complete winners’ list on social media after the champions were decided by an independent jury.

Skipper Babar Azam was named as the Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year by the cricket board following his stellar performances across all formats during the year.

In addition to the most prestigious award, the 26-year-old was also adjudged the White-ball Cricketer of the Year after averaging 110.5 and 55.2 in the ODIs and T20Is, respectively.

“I am truly humbled to have been awarded with the White-ball and Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year awards by the independent jury in what has been a difficult year for all professional athletes. Without the support of my teammates and family, this would not have been possible and, as such, I owe big time to all of them for my successes in 2020 and hope they will continue to support me in years to come.

“Captaining Pakistan at home was a huge moment for me, though without crowds, it took a bit of the gloss of that honour. I think the cricket I played in England was some of the best. England is never an easy place to play due to the conditions and the players they boast, but to go out there and perform gave me the satisfaction and encouragement that I can compete against the best and help my side to do better,” Azam said in a statement.

“I am disappointed to miss the three T20Is and the first Test in New Zealand as I was determined and motivated to perform against what is a really good New Zealand team and managed outstandingly by Kane Williamson.”

Mohammad Rizwan, the stand-in captain for the final Test of 2020 at Mount Maunganui against New Zealand, was declared Test Cricketer of the Year. In five Tests, he aggregated 302 runs, mostly in difficult situations, with four half-centuries at an average of 43.14. He also accounted for 12 batsmen behind the wickets.

Fawad Alam’s fighting and courageous 102 at Mount Maunganui, his first Test century in 11 years that made global headlines, was chosen as the Individual Performance of the Year by the independent jury that comprised highly respected and distinguished cricket personalities.

Pakistan women’s all-rounder Aliya Riaz was named as the Women’s Cricketer of the Year while 19-year-old Fatima Sana was chosen as the Women’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year.

The 17-year-old fast bowler Naseem Shah won the Emerging International Cricketer of the Year following his 20 wickets in eight Tests, including a hat-trick against Bangladesh that made him the youngest bowler to achieve the rare feat.

The Domestic Cricketer of the Year honours went to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kamran Ghulam after he became the only batsman in the ongoing first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy to complete 1,000 runs. He finished 19 innings of 10 round matches with 1,065 runs with four centuries and four half-centuries at an average of just under 60.

Rohail Nazir’s progression from the U-19 level to Pakistan Shaheens’ captain has won him the Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award. In the period from September 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020, the 19-year-old featured in nine events, including the ACC U-19, Emerging Asia Cup, HBL PSL 2020, Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019, ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020, two National T20 Cups and Pakistan Shaheens, and finished with 1,260 runs besides his 48 victims behind the wickets.

National men’s team’s gesture to visit the Bangladesh cricket team’s dressing room to thank them for their first visit to Pakistan in over a decade following a T20I series win earned them the Spirit of Cricket award.

The match referees and six Cricket Associations’ captains voted Asif Yaqoob as the Umpire of the Year.

The winners will be presented with specially designed trophies during the upcoming home series against South Africa.

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