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Friday 19 April, 2024
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Babar Azam Bagged ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August 2023

BY Shahzad Saeed Sep 12, 2023. 06:18 pm UPDATED: Sep 12, 2023. 06:18 pm

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For the month of August 2023, Babar Azam won the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for the third time. He is the first athlete in history to receive the honor three times.

Babar Azam, who currently holds the top spot in the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings, continued to dazzle last month thanks to his exceptional play, earning him the title of ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August 2023.

The Pakistani captain was overjoyed to accept the award after Babar defeated teammate Shadab Khan and hard-hitter Nicholas Pooran of the West Indies to win it for the third time.

Babar expressed his joy at being named the ICC Player of the Month for August 2023.

“My team and I have put on some outstanding performances over the past month, which has been extraordinary. It was fantastic to play in front of the fervent and cricket-crazy crowds of Multan and Lahore with the Asia Cup finally visiting Pakistan after such a long time. The joy was doubled because I achieved my second ODI score of 150+ in Multan in front of my own people.

“As we enter an exciting period of cricket with the Asia Cup’s conclusion and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup rapidly approaching, I am looking forward to capitalizing on the current form. We are excited to spread joy and happiness to Pakistan’s millions of fans, along with my team.

The veteran Pakistani player had a standout month in Asia, dominating in the 50-over format. Babar suffered a rare setback by failing to score any runs in the opening ODI of a bilateral series in Sri Lanka against Afghanistan.

He quickly recovered, though, showcasing his tenacity with two back-to-back fifties. The second ODI featured a standout moment when Imam-ul-Haq and the Pakistan captain combined for a crucial 118 runs, paving the way for a thrilling last-over contest.

Imam’s 91 runs and the lower-order batters provided solid support for Babar’s 53 runs during the run-chase. With one ball remaining and one wicket remaining, Pakistan secured a thrilling victory.

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He then added another crucial 60, helping his team win the final ODI with a commendable total of 268/8. Excellent bowling from Pakistan allowed them to win by a margin of 59 runs and sweep the series 3-0.

Babar’s outstanding play continued after the series ended, as he had a strong debut in the ongoing Asia Cup. He put on an amazing performance in the tournament opener against Nepal, scoring 151 runs off 131 balls.

The Pakistan captain became the player to reach 19 ODI centuries the fastest in the history of the game during this innings, setting a new record.

His 31st century for Pakistan across all formats puts him on par with legends Saeed Anwar and Javed Miandad. In terms of centuries for Pakistan, he currently ranks fourth, just behind Younis Khan (41), Mohammad Yousuf (39), and Inzamam-ul-Haq (35).

Read more: Asia Cup 2023: Salman Ali Agha Likely to Miss Sri Lanka Match Due to Injury

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