Saim Ayub reveals how Babar Azam helped him during early stage of career

The Pakistani opener is one of the most talented batters in the world

By Web Desk
May 20, 2024
Babar Azam (R) advising Saim Ayub during a practice session. — AFP

Pakistan’s left-handed opener Saim Ayub has revealed how Babar Azam helped him during the early stages of his career with Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Saim, who has played 20 T20Is for Pakistan so far, stated that he considers himself lucky that he is able to bat and play with Azam. The youngster then revealed that Babar gave him the support every young player needs from a senior.

“Of course, I consider myself lucky [to bat with Azam]. I was nervous greatly when I got to open the innings with him during my first year at Zalmi. I knew that I had to increase my standards as I knew that he would definitely overshadow me in the innings. There was nervousness but as time passed, I now enjoy it because I can see the trust and freedom [given to me] from him. After all, that is what a youngster needs from a senior,” Saim said in a podcast.

“I learned a lot from him, some things tactically some things mentally. At times I woudl ask him and other times he would tell me without asking and besides, you learn so much just by watching him from the non-striker's end.”

The left-handed batter then talked about the match against India which will be played in the T20 World Cup 2024 in New York saying that the goal is the trophy and the match against the Blues is just something on the road.

“There is no doubt that it is an intense match, we can’t deny that there’s extra pressure because there are more people [inside the stadium], and there’s hype as well. Our main goal is to win the World Cup with a day-to-day focus. We will try to take the match against India as a normal one, obviously, there’s pressure there but the main goal is the World Cup. The match [against India] is just something during the road [to the trophy],” he said.

The 21-year-old then stated that growing up he watched players like Brian Lara, Saeed Anwar and others who inspired him to become a cricketer.

“My biggest inspiration was when I used to watch the Pakistan cricket team play on TV, and sometimes I used to come to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) with Karachi’s U-16 side. I used to watch them carrying Pakistan’s bag and wearing the kit, there was this hunger of obtaining that bag and kit,” he said.

“I have always liked a number of players, especially of the time I was growing up. So, it’s not like a single player was my inspiration. There are many like Saeed Anwar, Adam Gilchrist, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and many others.”