Um-E-Aymen Babar won the 2022 Hugh Cudlipp Journalist Award for her debut piece in Wisden’s quarterly, The Nightwatchman, writing about the parallels of institutional racism in cricket and Cambridge University in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq scandal. The editor of Daily Mirror and current WiJ chair, Alison Phillips, presented the award. Cudlipp judges said her first hand view of racism was a “brave, poignant, well-researched piece that asks as many questions as it answers about systemic racism. It also succeeded in preaching outside the choir, by speaking to readers of Wisden’s amid the Azeem Rafiq scandal.”

The annual Cudlipp lecture was created and named in memory of the late Lord Cudlipp, the former editorial director of the Daily Mirror. This year the lecture was given by Roula Khalaf, the editor of the Financial Times who warned that press freedom in the UK is under threat from litigation by the super-rich. Um-E-Aymen’s piece will be published in the Daily Mirror.

Um-E-Aymen’s debut piece for VERSUS was also shortlisted for the 2022 Vikki Orvice Student Football Writer of the Year Award, writing about the rising ride of South Asian footballers after Zidane Iqbal’s debut for Manchester United last year.