The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday named batting superstar Babar Azam in the 2019’s ODI Team of the Year, which marked the cricketer’s second time in his career.
The 2019 list also features cricketing behemoths such as India’s Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes of England and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.
Azam, who had also made the list in 2017, expressed gratitude towards his team and also congratulated women’s team’s all-rounder Nida Dar for her inclusion in the T20I Team of the Year.
“I am thankful to the ICC and its jury for recognising my achievements with the bat. I am also deeply grateful to my teammates and fans,” he said.
“I also want to congratulate Nida Dar, who was named in the ICC T20I Women’s Team of 2019. Women’s cricket in Pakistan is on the rise and Nida, along with others, is making significant contribution.”
In 2019, the 25-year-old Azam scored 1,092 runs in 20 ODIs at an impressive average of 60.66. He also scored three centuries and six half-centuries.
In the same year, Azam also featured in his first Men’s Cricket World Cup and made the Pakistan record for the highest score in an edition by making 474 runs. He currently sits on the third spot in the ODI Player Rankings.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Chief Executive Wasim Khan congratulated the duo and added that Babar’s achievement would give hope to the U-19 team ahead of the World Cup as the batsman himself is a product of the U-19 setup.
“On behalf of the PCB, I want to congratulate both Babar Azam and Nida Dar for making Pakistan proud. I hope their achievements will inspire the future generation of cricketers,” he said.
“Our U19 team is in South Africa, preparing for the U19 Cricket World Cup. I am sure they will take a lot of heart from Babar’s achievement considering that he too graduated from this tournament to become one of the finest of his era.”