Pakistan captain Babar Azam bagged the honour following a number of thrilling batting displays in Pakistan’s multi-format series against Australia.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam is going from strength to strength, going by his recent show against Australia in the Tests and limited-overs series. Babar on Monday (April 11) became the first cricketer to win the ICC ‘Men’s Player of the Month’ not once but twice.

Azam bagged the honour following a number of thrilling batting displays in Pakistan’s multi-format series against Australia. Amassing 390 runs in the pulsating Test series, his supreme contribution was highlighted by his record-breaking innings of 196 in the second Test, salvaging a draw for his side against the odds on the final day in Karachi.

Babar had won the ‘Player of the Month’ award for the first time back in April 2021. At the forefront of his side’s batting unit, his exploits during the subsequent ODI battles that took place in March also cemented Azam’s claim as the standout player in international cricket during the month.

Azam received the award ahead of fellow nominees Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies) and Pat Cummins (Australia), and in doing so, became the first player to win the award on two occasions, after being crowned in April 2021.

Pakistan’s Bazar Azam becomes the first man to win the ICC Player of the Month for a second time

ICC (@ICC) April 12, 2022
Speaking about Azam’s phenomenal performances in March, member of the voting panel and former West Indies international Daren Ganga said, “Babar wins this award not only because of the significant glut of runs scored during the Pakistan vs Australia tour, but also because his success with the bat across formats. Being able to fulfil the burden of expectation as a captain and batter for Pakistan as host to an Australian team visiting after 24 years is a monumental achievement.”

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has made a big statement that skipper Babar Azam is the Don Bradman and Brian Lara of the current era. He says that he has played with many greats of Pakistan but Azam is ahead of them all.

“I had tweeted back in 2019. We were on the tour of England. I had written everyone’s name whom I had played with – Miandad, Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam, Yousuf, Younus, Saqlain. But he is ahead of them all. I am talking about a long time ago. He’s obviously become a big player since. We can’t compare because here I’m not only talking about Babar. All these guys, Virat, Rohit, Williamson – all these cricketers who are playing ODIs, they are batting with 10 fielders,” he said in a YouTube interaction.

“I’ll talk about Saeed (Anwar). There hasn’t been a batter quite like him. Undoubtedly, the No.1 batter Pakistan has ever produced. I have seen him from close quarters and trust me, he was a charismatic player. He hardly would practice. So to compares eras wouldn’t be fair. Today there are five fielders inside the circle. Back then, there used to be four. Anwar or Inzamam would eat the bowlers if one fielder was less outside the circle. They were greats of this era. He (Babar) is the Bradman and Lara of this era. That’s the thing,” Latif added.

(with PTI inputs)