Pakistan skipper Babar Azam in action during the T20 World Cup© AFP
David Warner was adjudged T20 World Cup 2021 Player of the Tournament after guiding Australia to their maiden title last week. The decision, however, has received mixed reactions from the cricket fraternity. While some felt that the Australian batter deserved the award, others felt that the award belonged to Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who finished the tournament as the leading run-scorer. With 303 runs in 6 games, Babar finished at the top of the pile ahead of Warner, who amassed 289 runs in 7 matches.
A day after the final, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar expressed his disappointment behind ICC’s decision to give the award to Warner. Taking to Twitter, Akhtar wrote that Warner winning the honour was an ‘unfair decision’ as Babar deserved the award more than anyone else.
Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram also weighed in on the debate. He explained that although Babar was the leading run-scorer in the tournament, the criteria to pick the winner is not always necessarily about who scores most runs.
“The criteria is not always about scoring the most number of runs. They have also seen the impact. They saw which particular player had a big impact for his team in the tournament and David Warner single-handedly won the games for Australia on most occasions. They also won the title which was the icing on the cake,” Akram replied to a fan’s query during a discussion on A Sports.
For the record, Babar Azam’s tally of 303 runs in the tournament is the third-highest individual tally in a single T20 World Cup edition, behind Virat Kohli’s 319 runs in 2014 and Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 317 in 2009.
Not only that, Babar also became the highest run-getter in a maiden T20 World Cup appearance, surpassing Pakistan batting consultant and legendary Australian batter Matthew Hayden, who had amassed 265 runs during the 2007 T20 World Cup.
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