Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan finished 2021 with the most T20 runs in a calendar year. In 45 innings, he scored 2,036 runs at an average and strike rate of 56.55 and 131.40, respectively.
In addition, Rizwan is the first player to score 2000-plus runs in T20 cricket in a year. The 29-year-old achieved the feat while playing for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan’s National T20 Cup), Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League and the Pakistan national cricket team.
Furthermore, Mohammad Rizwan has also scored the most T20 international runs in a calendar year with 1,326 of his 2,036 runs coming in international cricket. The opening batsman has scored a century and 18 half-centuries, of which 12 came for Pakistan in international cricket.
Meanwhile, West Indies opener Chris Gayle was the first player to cross the 1500-run mark in T20 cricket. A year after just three runs separated him from the milestone, the 'Universal Boss' scored 1532 runs in 40 matches for Barisal Burners, Team Bangalore, Sydney Thunder, and West Indies in 2012.
The fact that Gayle has scored the most T20 runs in a calendar year in three consecutive cycles from 2011 to 2012 and finally 2013 is proof of the legacy he has built in this format.
As far as Indian players are concerned, only Virat Kohli has ever topped the list of most T20 runs in a calendar year. The former Indian cricket team captain scored 1,614 runs in 2016 while playing for his national team and team Bangalore in the Indian T20 League. That year, Kohli averaged 89.66 and scored four tons and 14 half-centuries.
Most T20 runs in a calendar year (year-by-year)
Rizwan is the highest run-scorer by a significant margin. The closest anyone came to his tally was his national team captain Babar Azam who will end 2021 with 1779 runs in 46 matches.
Furthermore, Chris Gayle’s efforts in 2015 still see him sitting third in the tally. Kohli’s figures in 2016 and Babar Azam’s return of 1607 runs in 2019 complete the top five list of most T20 runs in a calendar year.
Most T20 runs in a calendar year (by runs)
|2019||AB de Villiers||1580||43||52.66||1||14|
Featured photo: AFP / Asif Hassan