Azam was at his brilliant best throughout March, with his superb 196 in the second Test against Australia in Karachi a clear standout as he beat West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Australia skipper Pat Cummins for the coveted monthly award and becomes the first player to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award on two occasions, having won the title in April 2021.
In the recently concluded Benaud-Qadir Trophy, Azam finished as the third-highest run-scorer after Usman Khawaja and Abdullah Shafique. In his five outings, he scored 390 runs at an average of 78, including two half-centuries and a century. The highlight of the series was his match-saving 196 in the second innings of the second Test in Karachi.
Azam continued his outstanding form in the ODI series, playing vital knocks in the first two games. In the first ODI, he notched up a score of 57 in Pakistan’s 88-run loss before scoring a brilliant 118 to lead Pakistan to a six-wicket win in the second contest.
“Babar Azam wins this award not only because of his significant glut of runs scored during the Pakistan v Australia tour, he was able to transition success with the bat across formats, from the Test Series into ODIs,” said former West Indies star and member of the voting panel Daren Ganga.
“Significantly, him being able to fulfil the burden of expectation as a captain and batsman for Pakistan being host to an Australian team visiting after 24 years is a monumental achievement.”
Haynes’ month was just as impressive as she claimed the women’s award ahead of England spinner Sophie Ecclestone and South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt.
Across eight ODI matches in March, Haynes scored a total of 429 runs at an average of 61.28 with the highlight being a classy 130 against England in Australia’s opening match of the tournament. She was the top-scorer for the side in March, and was only surpassed by Alyssa Healy by the end of the tournament.
“Rachael Haynes has been very consistent for Australia,” said Sana Mir, former Pakistan captain and member of the voting panel.
“She set the tone for Australia with a big hundred in their first game of the tournament. Her contributions throughout the World Cup set the other batters to build on. Haynes is a quality batter and a leader in women’s game.”
About the ICC award:
The International Cricket Council (ICC) presents the ICC Player of the Month to recognise male and female cricketers who have best performed across all forms of international cricket in a particular month.
The list of ICC player of the moth in 2021 is:
● January: Men- Rishabh Pant (IND) Women- Shabnim Ismail (SA)
● February: Men- Ravishandran Ashwin (IND) Women- Tammy Beaumont (ENG)
● March: Men- Bhuvneshwar Kumar (IND) Women- Lizelle Lee (SA)
● April: Men- Babar Azam (PAK)Women- Alyssa Healy (AUS)
● May: Men- Mushfiqur Rahim (BAN) Women- Kathryn Bryce (SCO)
● June: Men- Devon Conway (NZ) Women- Sophie Ecclestone (ENG)
● July: Men- Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) Women- Stafanie Taylor (WI)
● August: Men- Joe Root (ENG) Women- Eimear Richardson (Ireland)
● September: Men- Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal) Women- Heather Knight (ENG)
● October: Men- Asif Ali (PAK) Women- Laura Delany (IRE)
● November : Men- David Warner (AUS)Women- Hayley Matthews (WI)
● December: Men- Ajaz Patel (NZ)Women- Hayley Matthews (WI)