MELBOURNE: Ahead of the final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, England captain Jos Buttler and Pakistan Babar Azam on Saturday picked Suryakumar Yadav and Shadab Khan as their respective 'Player of the Tournament'.
Suryakumar made a massive impact for India in the T20 World Cup with his consistency clubbed with a more than healthy strike rate. Heading into the final, he is the third-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 239 runs that came at a strike rate of 189.68, the best in the tournament.
Buttler, who chose to go with Suryakumar, also highlighted the role of two England players who stood out in the tournament and didn't forget to mention that they had another opportunity to be strong contenders for the award.
"I think Suryakumar Yadav. For me, he 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," the England captain said in a video released by ICC ahead of the final. "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," he added. On being asked the same question to Pakistan skipper, he had no hesitation in picking Shadab Khan, whose all-round contributions have been pivotal in Pakistan's late surge to the final. "I think it should be Shadab Khan for the way he is playing," Babar said.
"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," he added.
Nine players have been shortlisted for the Player of the Tournament by ICC with players from England and Pakistan dominating the list.
There are three players from England, two each from Pakistan and India and one each from Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Fans will get the chance to vote for the winner.