Colombo Strikers rope in Babar Azam for LPL

The event will begin in July

May 23, 2023
Babar Azam is one of the best players in the world — AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan’s star batter and captain Babar Azam has been roped in by Lanka Premier League (LPL) franchise Colombo Strikers for this year’s event.

Azam was among the direct signings for the event ahead of the auction on June 11.

The fourth edition of LPL will be played from July 31 to August 22. The five-team tournament will be held at three venues, likely to be Hambantota, Colombo and Kandy.

The in-form Babar Azam, one of Pakistan's most successful captains, will lead the national team till the 2023 World Cup to be held in India in October.

Though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has yet to make the official announcement, it was learned from well-informed sources that the Board's think-tank comprising chairman Management Committee Najam Sethi, chief selector Haroon Rashid and Director Coaching Mickey Arthur have unanimously decided to repose trust in Babar as the captain of the team till 2023 World Cup. Besides leading the team in the World Cup, he will also be seen captaining the team in all series and events in the run-up to the mega event.

These include the two Test match series against Sri Lanka, three-match ODI series against Afghanistan and Asia Cup to be hosted by Pakistan in September.

“Following a series of meetings over the last few weeks that also included online meetings and during the mid-April meeting when Arthur was here, the troika has decided to continue with Babar as the team captain till the World Cup. It is believed that since there was no potential candidate who can come even closer to his abilities as a cricketer and captain, the best and most sane approach is to continue with Babar as the captain till the ODI World Cup 2023,” the source confirmed to The News.

Besides, leading the team to World No 1 spot in ODIs (just for a couple of days), Babar is also unbeatable on the batting chart in the format.

“His ability to handle the team in crunch situations and his personal contribution that makes him a leader who can lead the team from the front makes him one of the best not only in Pakistan but around the world as well. The decision to retain him, captain, till the World Cup was unanimous as all three during the meetings were convinced that Babar was standing alone at the top of captaincy aspirants list for the extravaganza,” the source maintained.

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.