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2021 in Review

Babar Azam named captain of the ICC men’s T20I team of the year for 2021

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Babar Azam has been named captain of the ICC’s men’s T20I team of the year for 2021, with two other Pakistan players making the cut.

Babar was the leading run scorer in the men’s T20 World Cup in 2021, with many disagreeing with the decision not to make him Player of the Tournament at that event.

The Asian side are the joint-most well-represented in the XI after a year in which they made the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, as well as dominating bilateral T20I cricket. Pakistan won 20 of 29 T20Is played in 2021, a record win tally for a team in a calendar year.

The other two Pakistan players to make the team are Shaheen Afridi, who lit up the T20 World Cup with his new-ball bursts, and Mohammad Rizwan, who set numerous records with the bat in 2021. However, his prolific opening partnership with Babar has been split, with England’s Jos Buttler taking on the powerplay alongside Rizwan.

The Australia side which won the T20 World Cup has two players featured, with player of the final Mitchell Marsh slotting in at No.5, and Josh Hazlewood in the bowling attack. However, David Warner, the Player of the Tournament at the men’s T20 World Cup, didn’t make the cut.

Three South Africa players feature, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Aiden Markram, with Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman and Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga rounding out the XI.

No players from the New Zealand XI which made the final of the T20 World Cup made the cut, with no players from India included either, the Virat Kohli-led side having endured a disappointing group-stage exit from that event.

The ICC’s Teams of the Year have been decided by the Voting Academy, with fans’ votes not taken into consideration.

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