Joe Root has been named the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year for 2021.
The England captain scored 1,708 runs in Test cricket in 2021, the third highest tally by a single batter in a year in history.
He joins Sir Alastair Cook (2011), his predecessor as captain, as the only English cricketers to take the annual prize.
“I am incredibly proud to receive this award,” said Root, who was recognised ahead of fellow nominees Kyle Jamieson, Dimuth Karunaratne and Ravichandran Ashwin.
“I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award.”
The 31-year-old made two double hundreds and four further centuries in a landmark individual year.
Only Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indian Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have tallied more than Root’s 2021 run total in a single year.
England men won just four of 15 Tests in 2021, losing away series in India and Australia and being beaten at home by New Zealand, with the captain again missing out on an elusive away Ashes ton.
Root, who scored more than three times as many runs as England’s next highest scorer (Rory Burns - 530) was denied a chance to further add to his total after the postponement of the fifth Test against India in September, which has been rescheduled for July of 2022.
The Yorkshire batter rates his brilliant 218 in the first Test in Chennai against India in February, which set up England’s sole win of the series, as the standout innings from his year.
“If there was one hundred that really sticks out it would probably be in Chennai against India,” Root explained.
“With it being my 100th game it is something that will live long in the memory”.
Root has also been nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, awarded to the player with the best performances across all-formats.
He now trails only Cook on the list of England’s all-time leading Test run-scorers.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam was named the ICC men’s ODI cricketer of the year, while India opener Smriti Mandhana was awarded the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year gong.
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