After David Warner was rewarded with the Man of the Tournament at the T20 World Cup last year in the UAE, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said that it was “unfair” and felt should have been given to Pakistan captain Babar Azam.
Helping Australia win their maiden T20 world title, Warner ended up as the second-leading run-scorer of the tournament with 289 runs at an average of 48 while striking at 146. He struck three fifties in the tournament, including a crucial knock of 53 runs off 38 balls in the final to set up for Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell’s late assault.
Babar Azam finished as the highest run-getter of the tournament with 303 runs at 60 but at a strike rate of 126 – much lower than Warner’s 146. Pakistan crashed out of the semi-final against Australia in which Babar scored 39 runs from 34 balls at a pedestrian strike rate of 114.
Known as the Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib Akhtar was confident that Babar would win the Player of the Tournament award but was left disappointed – and felt injustice on part of Azam – when Warner was given the award.
“Was really looking forward to see @babarazam258 becoming Man of the Tournament. Unfair decision for sure,” Shoaib Akhtar had tweeted.
Was really looking forward to see @babarazam258 becoming Man of the Tournament. Unfair decision for sure.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) November 14, 2021
Another player who had a strong claim for the Player of the Tournament. The leg-spinner snapped up 13 wickets in 7 games at an average of 12 and a stunning economy of 5.81. He recorded the best figures of the tournament, against Bangladesh: 5/19.
Australia defeated New Zealand in the final where they chased down 173 to clinch their first T20 World Cup. New Zealand now have lost the 2009 Champions Trophy final, 2015 ODI World Cup final and the 2021 T20 World Cup final – all to Australia.