Pakistani batters on Friday showcased their batting skills during a warm-up match against New Zealand in Hyderabad, India, and the left-handed middle-order batter, Saud Shakeel, was one of them.
Coming to bat at number five, the 27-year-old played some of the classiest shots and hit boundaries all over the ground, scoring a total of 75 runs off 53 balls with nine boundaries at an impressive strike rate of 141.51.
However, while Saud’s impressive knock didn’t go unnoticed, fans were quick to spot the left-hander’s bat, which had no sponsor on it.
Saud, who recently scored his maiden double Test hundred against Sri Lanka, emerged as one of the best and most reliable middle-order batters for Pakistan but to see him playing with a bat with no sponsor surprised the fans.
Here is how the fans on X, formerly known as Twitter, reacted.
It must be noted that Pakistan posted 345 runs on the scoreboard while batting first courtesy of Mohammad Rizwan’s century and Babar Azam’s 80 off 84.
By the time this story was filed, the Kiwis were batting at 183-2 in 23.1 overs.
It must be noted that the warm-up matches will consist of 50 overs per side. However, these matches won't have ODI status because teams will have the flexibility to include all 15 members of their squad in the playing XI.
The game is being held without spectators. This decision came in response to recommendations from local security authorities in Hyderabad, the match's designated venue, coinciding with ongoing festivals in the area.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will take place in India with 10 teams fighting for the elusive title across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
Pakistan: 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.