Batsman stresses importance of winning Zimbabwe series
Pakistan’s star batsman Babar Azam has admitted that he feels lucky to lead the Green Caps in the limited-overs format.
The 25-year-old—who took the reins of the T20I side in October 2019—was named the ODI captain earlier this year.
The right-hander was quoted in a report by ESPNCricinfo where he said that leading the side in ODIs is a privilege for him.
“It’s a great honour for me to be able to captain Pakistan in ODI cricket,” said Azam. “There’s been no cricket in Pakistan for a decade and our players were forced to play abroad. So, I count myself very lucky.”
Babar’s first assignment as the ODI captain will be the three-match home ODI series against Zimbabwe which is being contested under the ICC Super League.
The Lahore-born right-hander stated that the series holds importance for the side as they can avail maximum points off which will help them qualify for the 2023 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in India.
“The ICC league gives every series context, with seven qualifying berths up for grabs. So, we want to put as many points on the board as possible so when we get to the World Cup, people talk about us seriously. In 2011, we qualified for the semi-finals and in 2019, we couldn’t get through. I don’t think the rankings matter but I want us to start well and I fully trust my team to perform well and qualify,” he said.
The ODI captain said that his side will miss playing the Pakistan crowd in front of the home fans.
“The crowd has always supported us, and we got so much love from them when cricket recently began to come back to Pakistan. Unfortunately, Covid-19 means the crowd isn’t allowed. We’ll definitely miss them because you always get a boost from the crowd.”
“We got a lot of support during the National T20 Cup, and we hope to get the same during the Zimbabwe series.”