The ICC (International Cricket Council) Awards have shown a spotlight on many players over the years. The 2021 ICC Awards were no different. Many players stood out in several categories. The question is, who were they?
There are a total of thirteen categories for the ICC Awards. Among these categories is the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, ICC Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year, ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year, and ICC Umpire of the Year.
These are just some of the prominent awards given by the ICC, and each winner has shone in different ways for the cricket community.
ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year – Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
The ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year winner received the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. It is considered the most prestigious of the annual ICC Awards and was first awarded in 2004 to Rahul Dravid. For 2021, the trophy was given to Shaheen Afridi. Shaheen Shah Afridi is a Pakistani professional cricketer who plays as a fast bowler.
At the time of the awards, Afridi had bowled 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20. With bowling figures of 6/51, he had knocked some of the best batters over across all three formats of the game. The player also reached his peak during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in UAE where he impressed one and all with his sheer speed and skills.
ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Smriti Mandhana (India)
The Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy was awarded to the 2021 ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, and it was Smriti Mandhana. Smriti Mandhana is an Indian cricketer who had achieved 855 runs in 22 internationals at an average of 38.86 with one century and five half-centuries. She often turned the tables in India’s favor with her hits.
She had previously won the Best Women’s International Cricketer award in 2018. At that time, she had beat fellow opening batters Beaumont, Lizelle Lee of South Africa, and Gaby Lewis of Ireland to the honor. Before Mandhana, Jhulan Goswami, who won the same award in 2007, was the only Indian woman to win an ICC annual award.
ICC Emerging Men’s Cricketer of the Year – Janneman Malan (South Africa)
Janneman Malan is a cricket player that recently made his debut with the South Africa National cricket team in February 2019. Since his debut, the 25-year-old has achieved 715 runs in 17 international matches at a 47.66 Average and 101.85 strike rate, including two centuries and three fifties.
ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year – Fatima Sana (Pakistan)
In all the matches she played in 2021, Sana impressed many with her all-around efforts. She had become an integral part of Pakistan’s ODI and T20I sides owing to her wicket-taking ability as a bowler, bowling 24 wickets at an average of 23.95 and 165 runs at 16.50 in 16 international matches.
ICC Umpire of the Year – Marais Erasmus
In addition to highlighting the achievements of different players, the ICC also awarded the efforts of many officials. Marais Erasmus is an umpire who earned the respect of his peers and the international cricket fraternity.
The 2021 ICC Umpire of the Year Award sits alongside his successive Dave Shepherd Trophies, won in 2016 and 2017. On top of the T20 World Cup final, Erasmus oversaw 20 international fixtures across the three formats in 2021.
As of January 9, the voting for the 2022 ICC Award winners closed, and reports say that the results will likely release within this month.