Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan captain Babar Azam has revealed that he faced legendary fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in the nets during an Under-15 camp.
Azam recalled how Mudassar Nazar, who was head of the National Cricket Academy in 1999, “was very kind to select me to face Shoaib’s bowling”.
Akhtar represented Pakistan in 46 Tests, where he took 178 wickets at an average of 25.69.
He also featured in 163 ODIs and claimed 247 wickets at an average of 24.97.
As for his T20 International career, the 46-year-old picked up 19 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 22.73.
The Rawalpindi Express still holds the record for the quickest delivery in international cricket, which was clocked at 161.3 kph (100.2 mph) during Pakistan’s match against England in the 2003 World Cup.
“I was in the Under-15 camp and one day they (the national team) invited us for practice and Mudassar was very kind to select me to face Shoaib’s bowling,” Azam was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Azam was in sublime form in the T20 World Cup, where he broke the record for the most runs scored by a batsman in their maiden T20 World Cup appearance.
He scored 303 runs in six games, which included four fifties, at an average of 60.60 and a strike-rate of 126.25.
Pakistan will now play three T20 Internationals and two Tests against Bangladesh.
The T20 series will be held from November 19 to 22, while the Test series will begin on November 26.
Pakistan’s Squad for Bangladesh T20 Series: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shoaib Malik, Usman Qadir
Pakistan squad for Bangladesh Test series: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Zahid Mahmood