Babar Azam wins the ICC Player of the Month Award in March 2022

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam wins the ICC Player of the Month Award for March 2022

The all-format Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award to become the first player to win the award in two consecutive months.

Pakistan all-format skipper Babar Azam and Australian opener Rachael Haynes have been awarded the ICC Players of the Month Award for March 2022.

Azam was at his brilliant best throughout March, with his superb 196 in the second Test against Australia in Karachi to save the Test match which is a clear standout as he beat West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Australia skipper Pat Cummins for the monthly award and becomes the first player to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award on two occasions, having already 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 innings, he scored 390 runs at an average of 78, including two half-centuries and a century. The highlight of the historic Test series was his match-saving 196 in the second innings of the second Test to save the match in Karachi. 

The best-in-business then carried his 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 in a historic chase that ended in 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, but he was also 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 fulfill 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 remarkable as she claimed the women’s award ahead of England spinner Sophie Ecclestone and South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt who were the nominees.

Haynes’ contribution at the top of the order throughout the tournament was one of the positives for Australia in the recently concluded ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand, which they ultimately won for a seventh time early in April.

In the eight ODI matches that she played in March, Haynes scored a total of 429 runs at an average of 61.28 the highlight of her class came against England in Australia’s opening match of the tournament when she played a match-winning knock of 130. She was the top scorer for the side in March, and just surpassed by Alyssa Healy by the end of the tournament.  

Former Ireland cricketer and member of the voting panel Clare Shillington was full of praise for Haynes’ contributions, saying, “Rachael Haynes was the backbone of nearly every World Cup game for Australia, consistently set platforms for them to go on and set huge totals, or chase down any scores put up to them. She was paramount in them reaching the final.”

“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.”