Babar Azam, Pakistan highest-scorer on the recently concluded tour of South Africa is one of coach Mickey Athur’s favoured wards, and not only because of his skills with the bat.
The Pakistani coach, while speaking to the media on the team’s return to Pakistan, said he thought Azam was one of the world’s top five batsmen and continued to share a touching anecdote about the cricketer.
“Babar Azam is among the five most talented batsmen in the world. Do you know he sends every penny of his income home – most of them do,” Arthur said to ESPNCricinfo.
“Until last year he drove a beaten up Honda. Then, one night round the family dinner table, his father made a short speech saying how much honour his son had brought to the family and how they loved him. Whereupon he gave Babar a set of car keys and outside the door was a brand new white Honda.” the coach revealed according to ESPNCricinfo.
On the tour of South Africa, Pakistan lost the Test series 3-0 and were beaten 3-2 in the ODI series before losing the T20 series 2-1 as well. Azam however stepped up for the team when required, scoring 221 runs in the Test series and emerging as the team’s second-highest scorer. In the one-day series he scored 195 runs in 5 matches while in the T20s he the highest-scorer of the series, scoring 151 runs.
Stand in captain Shoaib Malik was all praise for the 24-year-old.
Shoaib Malik, Pakistan’s stand-in captain.”We have seen Babar Azam and Imam impress. We need more guys to perform like that to compete overseas. The board has been investing a lot and giving players many opportunities. It is just not about getting chances, but Babar has developed his game and it’s the same with Imam. I hope the other guys learn from them.”