Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan batsman Haroon Rasheed said captain Babar Azam and pace bowler Hasan Ali didn’t get proper opportunities to play at the junior level due to the country’s unsatisfactory domestic structure.
Azam and Hasan are both top-class players today, but back in the day, they weren’t getting picked to play for Lahore and Sialkot respectively.
Rasheed noted that he subsequently stepped in and ensured that they got the opportunity to represent Islamabad.
“Our domestic structure had so many issues that even players like Babar Azam did not get chances to play for Lahore and Hasan Ali for Sialkot in junior cricket,” he told Cricket Pakistan.
“When I saw that, I ensured that they got a chance to play for Islamabad. You can confirm this with Shakil Sheikh, who was in charge of things at that time.”
Azam made scores of 103, 31 and 94 in the three-match ODI series against South Africa, giving him a total of 228 runs at an average of 76.
As for the T20 series, he made 14 and 50 in the first two matches before hammering a career-best 122, which came off 59 balls and included 15 boundaries and four sixes, in the third T20 International.
In the fourth game, he was dismissed for 24 and thus finished with 210 runs in four matches at an average of 52.50 and a strike-rate of 143.83.
Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe started on Wednesday and Azam scored two runs in the first T20 International, which the men in green won by 11 runs.
He performed better in the second match as he scored 41, which came off 45 balls and included five boundaries.
Hasan, meanwhile, took one wicket in the one ODI he played against the Proteas at an average of 76.
He followed that up with seven wickets in the T20 series at an average of 18.71 and an economy rate of 9.35.
However, he hasn’t been picked for the first two T20 Internationals against Zimbabwe.
Pakistan suffered a shock 19-run defeat in the second T20 International as they were bowled out for 99 in their chase of 119.
As a result of this, Zimbabwe secured their first-ever T20 International win over the men in green.