Pakistan captain Babar Azam was a clear standout for the ICC Men's Player of the Month Award after an impressive month of March that saw him score that record-scripting 196 in the second Test against Australia in Karachi. And with the award, which was announced on Tuesday, Babar scripted history by becoming the first male player to win a spectacular verdict.
In the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, which ended last month with Australia as the winner, Babar was the third-highest run-getter after Usman Khawaja and Abdullah Shafique. In five innings, he scored 390 runs at an average of 78, laced with two half-centuries and a century. The highlight of his run tally was undoubtedly the match-saving 196 he scored in the second second innings of the second Test. He also scored fifties in both the innings of the final Test.
The youngster then further continued his brilliant form as he played two crucial knocks in the ODI series, scoring 57 in the first ODI where the hosts lost by 88 runs, and then pulled off 114 to help Pakistan pull off a six-wicket win in the second game.
Babar, who beat West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Australia skipper Pat Cummins for the coveted award, became the first male player ever to win two Player of the Months award having earned the same back in April 2021.
"Babar Azam wins this award not only because of his significant glut of runs scored during the Pakistan v Australia tour, he was able to transition success with the bat across formats, from the Test Series into ODIs," said former West Indies star and member of the voting panel Daren Ganga.
"Significantly, him being able to fulfil the burden of expectation as a captain and batsman for Pakistan being host to an Australian team visiting after 24 years is a monumental achievement."