Mohammad Hafeez forced Babar Azam to play against New Zealand despite injury


According to the latest reports coming from Pakistan, star batter Babar Azam was apparently reluctant to feature in the series concluding 5th T20I against New Zealand in Christchurch when the visitors were already down by 4-0. The Green Army went on to save themselves from major embarrassment by avoiding what would have been their 2nd consecutive whitewash after being blanked 3-0 in the Test series in Australia.

Pakistan were whitewashed and battered badly by the Aussies in the red-ball series under the captaincy of Shan Masood. The team then arrived in New Zealand with low morale but with a hope that they could achieve something significant over there this time under Shaheen Afridi‘s captaincy.

However, the total opposite happened in the series as Pakistan lost back-to-back 4 matches and the threat of another whitewash was not looking very distant. It was in the 5th T20I that Pakistan fought back, thanks to their splendid bowling performance and even before the match had started in Christchurch, Babar Azam told the Mohammad Hafeez-led team management about his desire to not feature in the last T20I, as per reports in Cricket Pakistan.

Babar Azam reported that he was feeling slight discomfort in his groin and that he could have become a subject of groin injury, hours before the start of the match. The Pakistan team management was shell shocked after coming across the news and they were actually not wanting to let Babar sit in the dugout.

Despite his injury, Babar Azam appeared in the 5th T2oI and came out to bat in his usual position after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The batting stalwart did not look uncomfortable in the middle and having arrived in Christchurch as the team’s best batter across the series, Babar had the onus of setting up a fighting total.

However, he departed from the crease for just 13 off 24 balls, falling prey to Ish Sodhi in the final ball of the 10th over. Before that innings, Babar Azam had scored 200 runs across the 4 losses in Auckland, Hamilton, Dunedin, and Christchurch.

And his wish to not play the last match was a wise decision from his side but the management’s reluctance in letting him do so was quite uncanny. It raises questions about them actually caring about the injuries of their main players that too 5-6 months before the 20-team ICC T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies.

Babar Azam Plays Man Of The Match Winning Knock for Rangpur Riders In BPL 2024

Days after Babar Azam reported a groin injury to the Pakistan team management, the 29-year-old played out a man-of-the-match winning knock of 62 off 46 for the Rangpur Riders in match number 12 of Bangladesh Premier League against Durdanto Dhaka.

Thanks to Babar’s knock, the Riders were able to post a target of 184. In response, the capital outfit could only score as much as 104 runs, losing the match by a heavy margin of 79 runs. Babar Azam’s 62-run knock included 5 fours and a six and with a strike rate of almost 135. 

After BPL, Babar will then feature in the 9th edition of the Pakistan Super League for Peshawar Zalmi before heading to England in May for a 4-match T20I series.  

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