DUBAI: Pakistan were the most dominant team in T20 international cricket last year and that was reflected in the International Cricket Council (ICC) team of the year for the shortest format, which was announced on Wednesday.

Pakistan won 20 and lost just six matches during 2021, and were the overwhelming favourites at the T20 World Cup staged in the UAE, especially after their emphatic 10-wicket win over arch-rivals India in Dubai. However, Pakistan were stunned in the semi-final against Australia as Matthew Wade hit three successive sixes in the penultimate over of the match to seal victory that set the stage for a commanding win for Australia in the final against New Zealand.Still, it was a year to remember for Pakistan as their captain Babar Azam and wicket-keeper/batsman Mohammad Rizwan dominated the runs chart and fast bowler Shaheen Afridi mesmerised with the new ball.

All three are part of the ICC T20 team of the year with right-handed batting sensation Babar picked as captain of the ICC team.

The team unsurprisingly does not have a single Indian player. The Indians were effectively out of the T20 World Cup after heavy losses in their first two matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.

Three South African players — batsmen Aiden Markram, David Miller and spinner Tabraiz Shamsi — are also included in the ICC T20 team of the year.

ICC T20 International Team of the Year: Jos Buttler, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam (captain), Aiden Markram, Mitchell Marsh, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaheen Afridi.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022

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