Babar Azam named ICC player of the month

Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, was named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August 2023, marking his third win of the award.

Babar, currently holding the top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings, continued to shine with his outstanding performances last month, earning him this prestigious recognition.

Babar expressed his joy at receiving the honor, triumphing over his teammate Shadab Khan and West Indies’ powerful batsman, Nicholas Pooran, for the award.

“I am thrilled to be awarded the ICC Player of the Month for August 2023,” Babar stated. “The past month has been exceptional for my team, and we’ve delivered some outstanding performances. It was a great experience to play in front of the passionate cricket-loving crowds of Multan and Lahore, especially with the Asia Cup returning to Pakistan after such a long time,” he added, mentioning his exhilarating ODI score of 150-plus in Multan.

Babar also expressed his excitement for the upcoming cricket events, including the Asia Cup and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, emphasizing his commitment to bringing joy to the millions of Pakistan fans.

In the Asian sub-continent, Babar had a remarkable month, particularly in the 50-over format. While he faced an unusual setback by scoring no runs in the first ODI against Afghanistan during a bilateral series in Sri Lanka, he quickly rebounded with two consecutive fifties.

His standout performance came in the second ODI, where he partnered with Imam-ul-Haq to create a vital 118-run partnership, setting the stage for an intense last-over showdown. Babar contributed 53 runs in the chase, with Pakistan securing a thrilling victory.

In the final ODI, he played another crucial role by scoring 60 runs, helping Pakistan achieve a commendable total of 268/8, leading to a comfortable 59-run victory and a 3-0 series sweep.

Babar’s exceptional form continued in the ongoing Asia Cup. In the tournament’s opening match against Nepal, he put on a stunning display, amassing 151 runs off 131 balls. During this innings, he achieved a historic milestone, becoming the fastest player in cricket history to reach 19 ODI centuries.

This century marked his 31st century across all formats for Pakistan, placing him alongside legends Javed Miandad and Saeed Anwar and trailing only Younis Khan (41), Mohammad Yousuf (39), and Inzamam-ul-Haq (35) in terms of centuries for Pakistan.

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