LONDON: Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan was on Wednesday named the Leading T20 Cricketer in the World by the Wisden Almanack.
The 29-year-old had a prolific run in 2021, becoming the first-ever cricketer in the history of T20 cricket to amass over 2,000 runs in a calendar year. In 45 innings, the right-hander amassed 2,036 runs at a fine average of 56.55.
Rizwan also became the first-ever player to score 1,000 T20 International runs in a calendar year. At a magnificent average of 73.66 in international cricket, he made 1,326 runs.
Meanwhile, Joe Root was named as Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World, just a week after he stepped down as England’s Test captain.
The 31-year-old Root quit last week after five years as England skipper following a dismal run of one win in 17 games.
But his impeccable form with the bat in 2021, when he scored 1,708 runs -- the third-highest ever total of runs in a calendar year below the tallies of former Pakistan batting maestro Mohammad Yousuf (1,788) and former West Indian icon Sir Viv Richards (1,710) — at an average of 61, helped him earn the global award.
Root succeeds his own potential successor with the national side, Ben Stokes, who took the honour in 2019 and 2020.
Root is the third Englishman to receive the accolade since it was launched in 2003, with Andrew Flintoff the first in 2005.
Meanwhile, Root’s England team-mate Ollie Robinson was named as one of the almanack’s five cricketers of the year.
Robinson joined Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Devon Conway and Dane van Niekerk in earning the prestigious award, which dates back to 1889 and predominantly recognises performances from the previous English summer.
Lizelle Lee is the new Wisden leading women’s cricketer in the world, the first South African to hold the title.
Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2022