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T20 World Cup 2021

‘Tired decision’ – ICC criticised for not naming Babar Azam as T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament

'Tired Decision' - ICC Criticised For Not Naming Babar Azam As T20 World Cup Player Of The Tournament
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Many pundits and ex-players have criticised the decision to award David Warner the Player of the Tournament award at the T20 World Cup, with Babar Azam, the competition’s leading run scorer, going unrewarded.

Babar’s campaign ended at the hands of Warner’s Australia at the semi-final stage, but he had already had a tournament to remember. An unbeaten half-century in Pakistan’s opener sealed an historic 10-wicket win against India, Pakistan’s first over their fierce rivals at any World Cup.

He added three more fifties, meaning he sits tied with Matthew Hayden and Virat Kohli for the most half-centuries at a T20 World Cup, while only Kohli and Tillakaratne Dilshan have scored more runs at a single edition.

Warner scored 14 runs fewer than Babar, and only managed three half-centuries, falling one run short of the landmark against Pakistan. But he maintained a significantly higher strike-rate, more than 20 runs per 100 balls higher than the Pakistan opener, and arguably made his runs at more high-impact intervals. Australia’s group was hotly contested, with three teams ending tied on four wins, and Warner scoring big in the final group game and the two knockouts. Babar, meanwhile, made 136 of his runs against Associate nations Namibia and Scotland.

Former Pakistan quick Shoaib Akhtar called the decision “unfair”.

West Indies’ Sherfane Rutherford said he was “shocked” at the “tired decision”, showing those boosting Babar weren’t merely parochial.

Some pointed to Kohli’s Player of the Tournament win in 2016 as evidence that Babar should have been rewarded, with the Indian also knocked out in the semi-final, like Babar.

There were several attempts to get tweets going viral questioning the decision.

However, others felt the decision was a fair one.

Aaron Finch, Australia captain, also disagreed with the choice of Player of the Tournament, but said that leg-spinner Adam Zampa was who should have won the gong. Babar was not named in Wisden’s T20 World Cup team of the tournament, with Warner and Jos Buttler named as the openers in that XI.

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