Joe Root was named ICC men's test cricketer of 2021 ©Getty Images

England captain Joe Root has been named men’s test cricketer of the year by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

He struck 1708 Test runs in the calendar year, a total only eclipsed previously by Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf and West Indian superstar Sir Viv Richards.

"It has been my best 12 months with the bat in what has been a challenging period for the England Test team. From a personal point of view, I felt in good form and relaxed at the crease," Root said.

Root’s award came despite England’s struggles in the format, which ended in a convincing Ashes series defeat against Australia. 

The Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy for the outstanding women’s player was awarded to opener India’s Smriti Mandhana who scored 855 runs in a difficult year for her team.

"A recognition of such high class from the global governing body of cricket in an exceptional and difficult year will motivate me to continue to better my game and contribute to Team India’s success going forward," Mandhana said.

"I look forward to 2022 with a clear focus on winning the World Cup in New Zealand as we continue to prepare as a team and unit."

Pace bowler Shaheen Afridi becomes the first Pakistani to be awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year. His 78 wickets across all international formats played an important part in Pakistan reaching the World T20 semi-final last November.

"Every performance I gave for Pakistan was enjoyable and memorable and was made possible through the support of my teammates," Shaheen said. 

"But to me, the standout performances remained the three wickets against India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, and the 18 wickets I took in the two-Test series against the West Indies in Jamaica."

The award for men’s T20 player of the year went to Shaheen’s compatriot Mohammad Rizwan. His unbeaten 79 saw them to an emphatic World T20 victory over neighbours and rivals India. It was also a year in which he scored his first international century.

His opening partner Babar Azam was named ICC men’s one day cricketer of the year. South Africa’s Lizelle Lee took the women’s award.

England’s Tammy Beaumont is the women’s T20 player of the year in awards which spanned the spectrum of the international game.

They included recognition for South African umpire Marais Erasmus.

Elsewhere, Oman’s captain Zeeshan Maqsood was named men’s associate cricketer of the year, while Andrea Mae Zepada of Austria received the women’s award.