2021 saw competitive sports rise from the COVID-19 pandemic and return to some sort of normalcy with cricket also playing a huge part in its recovery, hosting some of the biggest international and multi-team mega-events in the sporting world such as the T20 World Cup 2021, IPL 2021 among many others where stars of the game once again impressed. In addition to the superstars enthralling fans, many young players also grabbed the opportunity to make a name for themselves. So as the year comes to an end, we take a look at young cricketers who impressed in 2021. Year Ender 2021: Pedri, Vinicus Jr and Other Top Young Footballers Who Stole The Show.

5. Jayden Seales

West Indies have a history of producing quality fast bowlers and another up-and-coming Caribbean star could be young Jayden Seales. The 20-year-old has impressed many during his short career so far. The Trinidad cricketer has debuted in June 2021 and since has played four Tests, taking 16 wickets so far with best figures of 5/55 against Pakistan. Seales has been brilliant this year and looks to be improving exponentially.

4. Rahmanullah Gurbaz

Afghanistan cricket is on the rise as many young players are stepping up to make their mark and one of them is Rahmanullah Gurbaz. The 20-year-old made his ODI debut this year, scoring a century in his very first game. Gurbaz has also impressed in the shortest format, attracting many eyes towards him during the World Cup with his performances.

3. Ruturaj Gaikwad

The young cricketer from Maharashtra showed a lot of promise during IPL 2020 but announced himself on the world stage in IPL 2021. The 24-year-old was the leading run-scorer in the competition and played a huge role in Chennai Super Kings winning their first title since the 2018 edition.

2. Shaheen Afridi

Yet another young bowler who impressed at the T20 World Cup 2021 was Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. The 21-year-old had made a lot of waves since his debut as a teenager but took his opportunity to shine on the grandest stage. Afridi has established himself as a spearhead of the Pakistani bowling attack in all three formats and looks set to lead them for the years to come.

1. Wanindu Hasaranga

The Sri Lankan all-rounder has been sensational this year and has been the leader of a cricketing nation re-emerging after a transition period. The 24-year-old was the leading wicket-taker at the T20 World Cup 2021 and was also the joint-highest wicket-taker in T20 Internationals in 2021. Wanindu Hasaranga has caught the eye of many and can only improve from here on.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 22, 2021 09:31 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).