As the CWC 2019 progresses, our team at ProperGaanda continues on its mission to provide you with an in-depth history of our world cup squad. Today we shall be taking a look at the prolific young batsman Babar Azam.
Babar Azam was born on 15th October 1994 in Lahore, Pakistan. He grew up in the walled city of Lahore and began his domestic cricket career there. He comes from a cricketing background, with three of his cousins, the Akmal brothers, having represented Pakistan internationally in all three formats of the sport. Ever since he was young, Azam was extremely passionate about having a career in cricket even though it was tough to make it out of the walled city.
At the start of his career, he played local cricket in the streets until he was selected in U-15. He then went on to play for Pakistan Under-19 and then Pakistan Under-23. Azam also played in the teams of Rawalpindi Rams, Karachi Kings, and Islamabad United. At the Under 19 level he also captained the Pakistan team at the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. In May 2015, Babar was included in the Pakistani ODI squad for a series against Zimbabwe. He made his ODI debut in the third ODI and scored an impressive fifty scoring 54 runs off 60 balls. His impressive debut earned him a place in both Test and ODI squads for the future.
Rise to Fame
In the first match of an ODI series against West Indies, he scored his maiden century, scoring 120 off 131 balls and winning his first man of the match award. In the second ODI of the series, he continued his excellent form, scoring another century, this time much quicker than the previous one, scoring 123 off 126 balls. His century enabled Pakistan to put a total over 330. Pakistan won the match and Babar got his second Man of the Match award. In the third and final ODI of the series, Azam ended up a scoring third consecutive century (117 from 106) and became the third batsman for Pakistan to score hundreds in three successive ODI innings. He also broke the record for scoring the most runs (360) in a three-match ODI series. He also became the only batsman to score 350+ runs in a three-match ODI series. Babar also became the second cricketer to make history on his Test Debut against West Indies in October 2016 when he scored a half-century in the first innings.
Babar Azam has quite a few records to his name:
- Third joint-fastest in the world to reach 1,000 ODI runs.
- Second joint-fastest in the world to reach 2,000 ODI runs.
- Second fastest batsman in the world to reach 5th, 6th and 8th ODI hundreds.
- Fastest batsman in the world to reach 7th ODI hundred (33 innings).
- Second youngest cricketer to score three consecutive ODI hundreds.
- Only batsman in ODI history to score 5 consecutive centuries in one country.
- Most runs (1306) in first 25 ODI innings by any batsman in the world.
- Fastest in the world to reach 1,000 T20I runs.
Will Azam Live Up To Expectations At The World Cup?
Although it is hard to predict how Azam will perform at the ongoing Cricket World Cup, we can definitely hope to see some big performances from the prolific youngster. We wish Babar and the rest of the Pakistani Cricket team the best of luck and look forward to seeing a stellar performance from them in our opening game against the West Indies today.