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ICC award an honor: Babar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Skipper Babar Azam wanted to stick to his strengths and perform saying receiving the International Cricket Council (ICC) award was an honor.

The ICC recently announced the awards to commemorate the performances from 2021. Azam was not only named as the ODI Cricketer of the Year but he was also included in ODI and T20I Team of the Year as captain as well.

“It is not only an honor for me but for Pakistan as well. The ICC deemed me worthy of becoming a captain for both their limited-over team of the year, it is something that I don’t take lightly. I will try to stick to my strengths as captain and hopefully I will be able to perform well,” cricketpakistan.com.pk quoted him as saying.

Azam, who would lead Karachi Kings in the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) said he was delighted to be leading Karachi Kings and hopes to do well alongside his deputy Imad Wasim.

“I will like to thank God almighty because this will be the first time I’ll be captaining a franchise. The preparations are ongoing and things are going according to plan. There is no rift with Imad – we have been playing for Karachi for the past five years and also featured in a number of international matches. We are on the same wavelength and his opinion is still very important as he is the vice-captain,” he said.

Babar, however, claimed that there has been no change in his attitude off the field. “There has been no change in the way I carry myself off-the-field. The only thing I’m doing more off-the-field is to ensure how I can buck up the players and get their best performances on the stage and help Pakistan,” he said.

Azam talked about starting an early camp.He said”Of course if you start the camp early then that allows you additional time to get back into match fitness. We set up the training camp and did preparations. Additionally, we also played a practice match which Mohammad Nabi was also part of.”

“The tournament hasn’t started but our hopes are high. One should always hope for the best and sometimes things naturally happen for you. The only thing which is in our hands is effort and we plan on putting in the maximum effort,”he informed.

The COVID-19 situation was continuing to deteriorate in Pakistan, speaking about the alarming rise in cases, Azam said, “Since the cases are increasing day by day, I think PCB took a good step to book the entire hotel which will only comprise of players, management, and staff members.

“This will give a boost to the players. It has almost been three years since we have been living in a bio-bubble; we try to keep ourselves engaged by moving into different rooms and talking to them.”

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.