Sam Curran was named Player of the Tournament
Sam Curran was named Player of the Tournament

Sam Curran named ICC T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament after final win over Pakistan

Sam Curran was named ICC T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament after his Man of the Match performance helped England beat Pakistan by five wickets in Sunday's final at the MCG.

The accolade caps a remarkable turnaround for Curran, who missed last year's T20 World Cup in the UAE through injury, and he again led England's bowling attack with skill and intelligence in Sunday's final to finish with excellent figures of 4-0-12-3 as Pakistan were restricted to 137-8 in the first innings.

It was Ben Stokes who then grabbed the headlines as he carried England's run chase to finish unbeaten on 52, but Curran set the ball rolling by dismissing Mohammad Rizwan in the powerplay before returning to deliver two crucial overs at the death, just as he has done throughout the World Cup.

Curran eventually finished with 13 wickets at an average of 11.38, with only Wanindu Hasaranga ahead of him, and his development is a microcosm of Jos Buttler's first few months as captain as he builds on the great things his predecessor, Eoin Morgan, achieved with England's white-ball side.

Sam Curran could be the man for Wednesday
Sam Curran

Curran told Sky Sports: “It feels very special. I don’t think I should be getting this [Man of the Match award]. I think the way ‘Stokesy’ played – to get a 50 in a final, he’s done that so many times for us.

“I’m a little bit lost for words. It has been a great tournament for us, amazing. We’re going to enjoy this, my first time in a World Cup and we’ve won.”

Stokes was full of praise for Curran and his bowling colleagues for keeping Pakistan in check on a wicket that he described as 'tricky' and would be hard to chase a sizeable total on.

The all-rounder said: “I thought the way we bowled – Adil Rashid, Sam Curran – that’s what won us the game. To restrict them to what we did, the bowlers have got to take a lot of credit.”

Curran would have seemed an unlikely hero a few months ago when trying to work his way back to full fitness, with the likes of Jofra Archer and Saqib Mahmood – others to have been struck down by injury in the last year or so – seemingly better suited with their height and extra pace for Australian conditions.

However, Curran's was a big hit at the IPL with Chennai Super Kings in 2021 and having received strong backing from former India captain MS Dhoni there, was clearly seen as a player who could stand up for England on the big stage in this format.

A five-wicket haul in England's opening match again Afghanistan set him on his way and an economy rate of 6.52 across the tournament, despite bowling so many overs at the death, has seen him quickly become one of England's most important men.

With three medals draped around his neck after Sunday's final, the 24-year-old Curran can surely look forward to many more big days ahead.

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