England captain Joe Root has been named men’s Test cricketer of the year by the International Cricket Council.
Despite a difficult year for his side, Root hit 1,708 runs in 2021 – the third most in a calendar year in Tests.
He scored two double centuries and a further four hundreds, including three in successive Tests against India.
Root was also nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC men’s cricketer of the year, that award going to Pakistan bowler Shaheen Afridi.
Root who become the second Englishman to win the Test cricketer award after Alastair Cook in 2011 said, “I am incredibly proud to receive this award.”
New Zealand bowler Kyle Jamieson, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin were the other nominees.
Yesterday, England’s Tammy Beaumont was named women’s Twenty20 international cricket of the year.
England won just four of 15 Tests in 2021, including losing the Ashes in Australia and series against India and New Zealand, but Root stood a class above the rest of his side’s batting line-up.
Root scored more than three times as many runs as any of his team-mates – Rory Burns was the next highest scorer with 530 runs – and averaged 61 from 29 innings.
He began the year with 228 and then 186 in Sri Lanka and followed that with a sublime 218 in the first Test against India in Chennai – his 100th Test.
When India travelled to England in the summer Root hit 109 in the first Test, 180 not out in the second and 121 in the third.
Only Pakistan batter Mohammad Yousef (1,788) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710) have scored more than Root in a calendar year.
He scored 89 in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane but, despite his remarkable form, ended the series unable to score his first Test century in Australia.
Root said, “If there was one hundred that really sticks out it would probably be in Chennai against India. With it being my 100th game it is something that will live long in the memory.”
Afridi won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC men’s cricketer of the year, which is the award for performances across all formats.
The left-arm pace bowler took 78 wickets in 36 internationals at an average of 22.20, with best bowling figures of 6-51.