'I selected Babar in trials': Mohammad Asif makes big claim

The former pacer represented Pakistan in 72 international matches

By Web Desk
September 23, 2023
Mohammad Asif (R) says he can still bowl a maiden over to Babar Azam (L) in T20 cricket. — AFP

Former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Asif was active in an X, formerly known as Twitter, space session on Friday night and the 40-year-old made many statements that were nothing less than a surprise among the cricket fraternity.

Asif, 40, addressed a number of things related to the Pakistan cricket team and also had his say on the Green Shirts' squad for the World Cup 2023.

Asif also claimed that it was him who selected Pakistan's skipper Babar Azam during trials but he also weighed in on the 28-year-old's display during the powerplay in T20I cricket.

"I selected Babar Azam in the trials after he faced two balls only, you can ask his father that I picked Babar in ZTBL trials. I rate highly, he is one of the best batters in the country but he plays dots in the power-play and puts pressure on Rizwan," Asif said in an X space.

"I can bowl a maiden over to Babar Azam in T20 cricket even today, he cannot hit the ball if you bowl good deliveries to him.

"We have all average bowlers in the squad, there's none special."

It must be noted that Pakistan announced their World Cup 2023 squad after much consideration and long talks between Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq, skipper Azam and the Technical Committee members Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah ul Haq but the contingent wasn't welcomed by many.

It must be noted that the Men in Green will kick off their World Cup campaign on October 6 by taking on the Netherlands in Hyderabad.

Pakistan will take on India in the most-anticipated match of the World Cup on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmadabad in front of 132,000 spectators.

Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023

Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.

Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan

Schedule of Pakistan's warm-up matches:

September 29 — vs New Zealand in Hyderabad

October 3 — vs Australia in Hyderabad

Here is Pakistan's schedule for the ICC World Cup 2023:

October 6 — vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 10 — vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 14 — vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 — vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 — vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 — vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 — vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 — vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

November 11 — vs England in Kolkata

The day matches which will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).