Award night

K Shahid looks at the big winners at the PCB awards last week

Award night
A wide range of stars, on and off the field, and from all forms of the game, were rewarded last week for their contributions to Pakistan cricket at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Awards 2018.

Major winners included Mohammed Abbas, Hasan Ali and Babar Azam, each of whom won the Cricketer of the Year Award in their respective format.

Shahid Afridi with Babar Azam

Imtiaz Ahmed Spirit Award

Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who over the past 15 months has taken over all three formats, won the Imtiaz Ahmed Spirit Award along with a Rs1 million cash prize. Under Sarfraz, Pakistan won the Champions Trophy last year, and continue to reign as the number one T20I side. And by levelling the Test series in England this May/June – especially considering the mauling that India are undergoing – Sarfraz has also underscored that the Test side is on the up as well.

Najam Sethi with Sarfraz Ahmed

Test Player of the Year (Men)

With 27 wickets in five matches at 16.85 a piece, Mohammed Abbas has fast become the leader in the pace attack for Pakistan. Considering the powerhouse that the Pakistani fast bowling is, this is no small feat. Abbas’ significance was underlined by the performance in England and how he delivered at Lord’s, helping eventually Pakistan earn a laudable draw.

Hasan Ali, ODI Player of the Year

Major winners included Mohammed Abbas, Hasan Ali and Babar Azam, who won the Cricketer of the Year Award in their respective format

ODI Player of the Year (Men)

A superstar find from the PSL, Hasan Ali took 26 wickets in 12 matches over the past year at around 18 a piece, and an economy of 4.76. Hasan was massive in Pakistan’s Champions Trophy win, and did the damage against Sri Lanka as Pakistan whitewashed them in the UAE in October last year. With Abbas leading the line in Tests, Hasan is fast becoming the go to bowler in the limited overs format.

T20 Player of the Year (Men)

Babar Azam’s prolific run-getting in the shorter formats saw him score 489 runs in 12 innings, with a staggering average of 54.33. He scored four fifties, which included the second highest individual score for a Pakistani in T20I – 97* against West Indies. If Babar can work on his power hitting – more his intent than the skill – he’ll continue his growth.

Hasan Ali, Faheem Asraf and Shadab Khan

Best emerging player (Men)

Faheem Ashraf is definitely the most exciting all-round prospect that Pakistan has seen since Abdul Razzaq. He is already going great guns with the ball, and exhibited what he can do with the bat. While his current batting position doesn’t allow him much time in the limited-overs formats, he made his mark with the bat in Tests against Ireland and England.

Special Award for Outstanding Performance

Last month, Fakhar Zaman became Pakistan’s first double centurion, breaking Saeed Anwar’s 21-year-old record by topping his 194. He also became the fastest batsman to 1,000 ODI runs in the history of the game. Fakhar has been the top order batsman that Pakistan have been needing for a while, and if he continues the hard work, he’ll only grow stronger.

Other awards:

Best ODI Player (Women): Sana Mir; Best T20 Player (Women): Javeria Khan; Best Batsman Domestic (Men): Shan Masood; Best Batswoman Domestic (Women): Javeria Khan; Best Bowler Domestic (Men): Aizaz Cheema; Best Bowler Domestic (Women): Diana Baig; Best Wicketkeeper Domestic (Men): Kamran Akmal; Best Wicket Keeper (Women): Sidra Nawaz; Best Player of the Year (Blind): Amir Ishfaq; Best Player (Deaf & Dumb): Muhammad Naveed Qamar; Best Player (Disable): Nihaar Alam; Best Umpire: Muhammad Asif Yaqoob; Best Coach: Sajjad Akber (LCCA); Best Referee: Mohammad Anees (Lahore); Best Scorer: Azhar Hussain (Lahore); Best Curator: Riaz Ahmed (Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium).