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The ICC 2021 nominees for various categories were announced recently, but today, we'll discuss the Cricwizz Awards 2021 winners.

Cricwizz Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year

The ICC Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year has some great players nominated. Shakib Al-Hasan from Bangladesh, Babar Azam from Pakistan, Janneman Malan from South Africa, and Ireland's Paul Stirling are the nominees.

An unexpected but deserving one, Paul Stirling had an exquisite 2021 as the Irish batsman finished the year with the most runs in ODIs (705) in 14 matches at an average of 79.66. He had three 100s and 2 50s, and he was Ireland's lone wolf when he went out to bat. Despite batting brilliantly against Afghanistan and Netherlands, Ireland failed to win a single series which sums up their over-dependence on Stirling. 

He is a genuine contender for the spot and it'll be interesting to see how the others have fared compared to him. Janneman Malan made 509 runs in eight matches at an average of 84.83 and a strike rate of 92.04 that included 2 100s and 2 50s.

His form against Sri Lanka was also fantastic. Can Malan claim the award? We'll know soon. Coming onto one of the renowned batsmen on the list, Babar Azam had a great 2021. He was Pakistan's leading run-scorer, scoring 405 runs in six matches at an average of 67.50 with 2 100s and a 50.

Pakistan won the series against South Africa but were whitewashed by the English, something that will come in his way to claim the trophy. However, he was still Pakistan's leading run-scorer in the series with 177 runs, while no one else managed to score even 100.

Last but not the least, Shakib Al Hasan was banned by the ICC in 2019 October for two years with one year suspended. After COVID-19 struck the world in 2020, Shakib was set to return in October 2020 but had to show more patience.

Shakib marked his return in January 2021 and showed the instant impact and how much he missed the game. He won the player of the Series twice, first winning it against West Indies and then Zimbabwe.

So who do you think deserves the Cricwizz Men's ODI Cricketer of the Year? We say it's Shakib Al-Hasan, considering his comeback and effectiveness that he brought in such a short span of time.

Cricwizz Men's ODI Cricketer of the year: Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan Awards
Shakib Al Hasan (Image Credits: ICCofficial)

Cricwizz Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year

Mohammad Rizwan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jos Buttler, and Mitchell Marsh are nominated for the award. Starting with Wanindu Hasaranga, an all-rounder that was a constant source of inspiration for his side, Hasaranga picked 36 wickets in 20 matches and also scored 196 runs with a 50 for his side.

The 24-year-old put on a commendable performance in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman, concluding the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 16 wickets, also picking up a hattrick against South Africa.

Now we come to Mitchell Marsh, a player who had an impeccable year overall. Marsh scored over 620 runs in 27 matches at an average of 36.88 and also picked 8 wickets.

He was a very crucial part of the Australian squad that lifted the ICC Men's T20 World Cup and Marsh produced some match-saving performances in the semi-finals and final which means that he has an edge considering the trophy and his contribution.

He was adjudged Man of the Match for his 77-run knock in the final. Talking about Jos Buttler, he had a great year personally after his wife gave birth to a healthy child. But even professionally, Buttler was exceptional. He scored 589 runs in 14 matches at an average of 65.44 with a ton.

He also was England's highest run-getter in the World Cup with 269 runs but was unlucky as England crashed out after a thrilling semi-final against the Kiwis.

Coming onto the final contender, Mohammad Rizwan had not just his best but one of the best years globally, as he ended the year with 1326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 73.66 with a ton.

One of his best performances of the year came against Pakistan's arch-rivals India where they had to chase just 152 but it was still a task that needed to be done. Alongside Babar Azam, Rizwan stood strong and produced a great knock. Against Australia in the semi-finals too, Rizwan stood strong and scored well despite having health concerns. 

Cricwizz Men's T20I Cricketer of the year: Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan Awards
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credits: The Mirror)

Cricwizz Men's Test Cricketer of the Year 

Joe Root, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kyle Jamieson, and Dimuth Karunaratne are nominated for the award. Starting with the English skipper, the year may have not ended in the manner he wanted but it still was a year to cherish for Root.

Root scored 1708 runs in 15 matches with six tons and became only the third player to score over 1700 runs in a calendar year in Test cricket entering the league of Mohammad Yousuf and Sir Viv Richards.

His performances were great irrespective of the venue, be it against Sri Lanka at Galle, against India in Chennai, or at Lords. Root was England's savior on more than a couple of occasions.

He also bowled some crucial overs when in India and picked wickets in those conditions as well. India's Test maestro Ravichandran Ashwin picked 52 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 16.23 and also scored 337 runs at 28.08 with one century.

However, his most crucial performance came with the bat in Sydney when he batted with everything he had to keep India's hope of winning the Test series in Australia which they eventually did. Thank you, Ashwin! He was phenomenal against England as well, picking 32 wickets in four matches, and is a rightful nominee of the ICC awards.

Kyle Jamieson, a youngster who was a tricky puzzle in New Zealand's World Test Championship win. He picked 27 wickets in 5 matches with an average of 17.51. 

Jamieson was New Zealand's X-factor and he supported the likes of Trent Boult and Tim Southee very well. Jamieson was brilliant against India at home and in India as well and he caused a lot of problems to the Indian skipper, Virat Kohli.

Karunaratne scored 902 runs in 7 matches at an average of 69.38 that included four tons. The Sri Lankan test skipper fought single-handedly most of the time and proved to be a consistent player.

Be it with the new ball or the old, Karunaratne stood strong in every situation. His ton against the Proteas at Johannesburg was a brilliant one. 

What do you think? What are Karunaratne's chances? Well, here the clear winner is England's Test skipper Joe Root who had one of the best individual years in Test cricket.

Cricwizz Test Cricketer of the year: Joe Root

Joe Root Awards
Joe Root (Image Credits: ESPNofficial)

Cricwizz Men's Cricketer of the Year

Well, there will be a winner for all the formats but who wins the ultimate crown for this year? The nominees are Shaheen Afridi, Joe Root, Mohammad Rizwan, and Kane Williamson.

Starting with the only bowler in the nominations, Shaheen Afridi had a wonderful 2021. 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20 with best bowling figures of 6/51, Afridi started most of his innings with not just one but multiple extraordinary deliveries.

Be it swing, speed, or seam, Shaheen did everything possible and created so many memories for Pakistan fans. He also turned up in the intense and high-profile clash with India, picking wickets of the three best batsmen in the team (Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli).

Not to forget, Pakistan lost the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup to Australia but they did have a chance to avert it. You can never forget that "catches win matches" and now, Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali would never forget that.

Does being the only bowler on this list give you bonus points? If yes, then Shaheen has a serious chance of becoming the Cricwizz Men's Cricketer of the Year.

Kane Williamson, a captain who no one can hate, a player who barely disappoints, and an epitome of sportsmanship, Kane Williamson had a mixed kind of a year.

The early days were rejoiced because of the World Test Championship triumph but towards the end, it was all sorrow as the Kiwis lost another final. However, that doesn't take away 693 runs in 16 internationals at an average of 43.31 with one century.

When everyone began questioning the skipper's performances in white-ball cricket, Kane Williamson made a statement again, scoring a 43-ball 85 and shocked the doubters.

Even being unfortunate is not enough now as New Zealand and Kane Williamson suffered another ICC final defeat. They can hold their heads high but can't deny that they would've preferred it pointing to the sky, reliving what they felt in Southampton in August.

The last two nominees have probably more chances of claiming the trophy as it's the second time they are making a Cricwizz award list for 2021.

Starting with Joe Root, the English skipper as mentioned was phenomenal this year, scoring 1855 runs in 18 international matches at an average of 58.37 with 6 centuries.

On the other hand, Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan wasn't behind either, 1915 runs in 44 internationals at an average of 56.32 with 2 centuries, 56 dismissals as the wicket-keeper do deserve something right. What do you think? Does Rizwan's 60 run lead make him the winner or does the fact that Root faced more quality opponents and still stands close give him the edge?

Cricwizz Men's Cricketer of the year: Mohammad Rizwan