Pakistan captain Babar Azam and his English counterpart Jos Buttler have named their Player of the Tournament in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022 ahead of the final on Sunday. The International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed their shortlisted nine players for the Player of the Tournament award on Friday.
Two players from India, three from England, and one each from Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka have made it to the list. The game’s apex body chose Suryakumar Yadav, Shadab Khan, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Alex Hales, Virat Kohli, Sikandar Raza and Wanindu Hasaranga.
Buttler named Surykumar Yadav, given his ‘eye-catching’ display of batting. However, he feels Alex Hales and Sam Curran also stand a chance of winning it if they deliver a breathtaking performance in the final.
As quoted by the ICC, the England wicketkeeper said:
“I think Suryakumar Yadav. I think Suryakumar Yadav for me has been someone who’s played with extreme freedom. He’s been incredibly eye-catching to watch in such a star-studded line-up. To stand out the way he has is amazing. Of course, there’s a couple of our guys on that sheet as well – Sam Curran and Alex Hales. If they put in a great performance in the final, they can be the Player of the Tournament for me.”
Yadav has indeed taken the competition by storm with his 360-degree display of batting. The right-handed batter is the third-highest run-getter in this year’s edition, garnering 239 runs in six games at 59.75 and striking at 189.68.
Babar Azam picks his Player of the Tournament
Babar Azam went ahead with his fellow teammate Shadab Khan. The 28-year-old believes that Khan’s all-round efforts have been pivotal in the team’s campaign, saying:
“I think it should be Shadab Khan for the way he is playing. While his bowling has been outstanding, his batting also improved quite a bit. His dominating performances in the last three games along with his outstanding fielding makes him a prime contender for the Player of the Tournament.”
Shadab Khan’s most impressive display in the competition came against South Africa, against whom he struck a 20-ball 50 and took 16-2 to fashion a 33-run-win for Pakistan. He will be crucial if the Babar Azam-led side are to beat England to win their second T20 World Cup crown.