PSL 8: Afridi says 'Babar has not yet proved himself as a match-winner'

The batter is currently leading Peshawar Zalmi in the ongoing PSL 8

By Web Desk
February 28, 2023
Babar Azam (L) is ranked in the top three in all three formats — PCB/ICC

Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has said that the captain of the national team and Peshawar Zalmi Babar Azam has not yet proved himself as a match-winner.

Afridi, who recently served as the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) interim chief selector, heaped massive praise on Babar, calling him the number one player in the world but opined that he is yet to put on some match-winning performances.

"No doubt, Babar is the number one player in the world, and he is the pride of the Pakistan cricket team. However, one thing that stops him from being named along with the likes of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli is finishing [games]. Babar has not yet proved himself as a match-winner," said Afrid in an interview with a local channel.

It is worth mentioning here that Babar is the number one ODI batter in the world, while in T20Is, he is ranked third. Meanwhile, in Tests, he is placed third.

In addition, he bagged the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year. The top-order batter was also named captain of the ICC ODI Team of the Year for 2022.

The prolific batter is currently leading Peshawar Zalmi in the ongoing eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

His side are placed fifth in the league with four points in five games and are scheduled to lock horns with Karachi Kings in their sixth match of the PSL 8 on Wednesday.

Babar has scored 178 runs in five matches of the PSL so far.

Earlier, in a press conference on Saturday, he said he aims to do his best to clinch the PSL trophy.

"We will try to play good cricket. We won't focus on the previous matches but work on our shortcomings. It's every player's dream to win the PSL, and If we do our best, we will clinch the trophy," he said.

The closing ceremony and final will be played on March 19 in Lahore, which will also host play-offs.

The winner will not only lift the Supernova Trophy but will also collect a cheque of Rs120m, while the runners-up will receive a cheque of Rs48m.

Qalandars will attempt to become the first side to win back-to-back titles; meanwhile Islamabad United will aim to become the most successful side by lifting the trophy thrice.