Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan’s ace left-arm bowler, made history by becoming the first Pakistani player to win the ICC Player of the Year title. Shaheen’s achievement was particularly noteworthy because he was only the third bowler in history to win the award.
Since his international debut a little over three years ago, the 21-year-old has been extraordinary. His efforts in all three formats over the last year were outstanding, and he was a key element in Pakistan’s remarkable performances throughout the year.
Last year, Shaheen was the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, and he was equally impressive in T20I cricket. Despite just playing six ODIs, his ODI performances were as impressive.
The left-arm fast bowler has now joined a select group of players who have already received the prestigious accolade. Since its commencement in 2004, cricketing legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, and Kumar Sangakarra have been among the winners.
Let’s have a look at all the winners of the ICC Player of the Year award:
|2005||Jacques Kallis & Andrew Flintoff||South Africa & England|
|2008||Shivnarine Chanderpaul||West Indies|
|2012||Kumar Sangakarra||Sri Lanka|
*No award for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The ferocious bowler has risen quickly, and his outstanding achievements have earned him the position of new captain of the Lahore Qalandars in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL). As Lahore tries to enter the playoffs for the second time in their history, it will be intriguing to see how Shaheen rallies his soldiers and fits into the leadership role.