Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi among nominees for ICC Men’s Player of the Year award

Ace batsman-wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan and star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi have been included among four nominees for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Men’s Player of the Year, the world cricket body announced on Friday.

The other two nominees are England captain Joe Root and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, the ICC said in a statement.

Shaheen — the man on fire

Elaborating on the achievements of the players, the ICC noted that Shaheen took 78 wickets in 36 international matches this year at an average of 22.20 runs. He also delivered his career-best figures in an innings this year in August against the West Indies, grabbing six wickets for 51 runs.null

“The tall Pakistani pacer was on fire throughout 2021, knocking some of the best batters over across all three formats of the game. He especially had a year to remember in Tests and T20Is, reaching his absolute peak during the T20 World Cup in UAE where he impressed one and all with his sheer speed and skills,” the statement said.

“He ruled the shortest format throughout the calendar year, scalping 23 wickets in 21 matches with his death bowling improving by leaps and bounds,” it added.

The statement made special mention of Shaheen’s performance against India in the T20 World Cup where it was the pacer’s double-wicket salvo up top that put India on the backfoot early and set the tone for the entire match.

It also recalled Indian captain Virat Kohli’s post-match statement in which he had heaped