Following Pakistan’s win over the West Indies in Multan, skipper Babar Azam passed over the Player-of-the-Match award to Khushdil Shah, whose cameo helped the side chase down a 306-run target on Wednesday.
It was Babar who headlined Pakistan’s chase, scoring his 17th ODI century and the third on the trot. However, a middle-order fumble threatened to derail the hosts. With Babar’s men requiring 42 off 22 at one point, Khushdil hit a hat-trick of sixes, eventually ending with an unbeaten 23-ball 41 in the five-wicket win.
At the post-match ceremony, Babar was set to receive the Player-of-the-Match award for his 103, when the skipper walked up to the mic and said: “I would like to give the Man of the Match to Khushdil Shah.” It would have been Babar’s 12th Player-of-the-Match award in the format.
When asked by presenter Bazid Khan how he has transformed into a consistent power-hitter, Khushdil said: “For the last two years, I have been working on this. I used to play a lot on the leg stump, started working more on the off stump. The two recent camps were really beneficial, where the coaches have worked hard on me, on my batting and singles/doubles.”
The gesture earned plenty of praise on social media.
Babar Azam was named Player of the Match in Pakistan's victory over West Indies yesterday for his 17th ODI century, but he handed the award to Khushdil Shah, whose 41 off 23 sealed the win at the death 👏pic.twitter.com/IeDltvTKU5
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 9, 2022
Nice gesture from Babar Azam, giving his man of the match award to Khushdil Shah in the first ODI against West Indies. pic.twitter.com/7V8DzH1tzG
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) June 9, 2022
Nice little gesture from Babar Azam last night to hand his Player of the Match award to Khushdil Shah 🏆 https://t.co/275JaGm12X
— Jigar Mehta (@jigsactin) June 9, 2022
Sanity prevailed. A sensible move by Babar Azam by giving away his MoM award to the real player of the match Khushdil Shah. It isn't always about 5er or a 100 but sometimes the context of cameos in the game takes precedence. His 41 off 23 was crucial, valuable & >103. #PAKvWI
— Umar Farooq Kalson (@kalson) June 9, 2022