Rise of Babar: From Ball Boy to World Number One

There is always a story behind people who are deemed world number one. Such stories are often loaded with tales of struggle, consistency, disappointments, and hard work in sports or any other field. The T20I and ODI number one batsman, Azam’s story is one such example. He rose to be the world’s number one batsman rather quickly, but his journey isn’t void of struggle.

Return to Gaddafi Stadium as an International Player From Ball Picker (2015)

With the arrival of the Zimbabwean team in May 2015, cricket returned to Pakistan. Who would have thought that the future world number one player would also be introduced in the series with the return of cricket?

Early Days Babar

In the third ODI of the series, a boy named Babar Azam started his career. This is the same boy who was a β€œBall-Picker” seven years ago at the same Gaddafi Stadium. In the first Innings of his career, Babar scored 54 runs off 60 balls.

Early Days In International Cricket (2016-17)

Azam was constantly giving some good performances for the Pakistan team, but he came into people’s eyes in the series against West Indies.

The Prolific Batsman scored three centuries in three consecutive innings in 2016 against the West Indies in UAE. He scored 360 Runs, a world record for most runs scored by a player in a 3 match ODI series.

World Number One in T20I

The next series was played in Australia, where the performance of the Pakistan team was nothing special, but Babar Azam stood out again. After the completion of this series, people began to believe that this player could do wonders ahead.

First ICC Trophy (2017)

Pakistan won the Champions Trophy for the first time in 2017. Babar was one of the key players of the team who helped the Pakistani team to bring the trophy home.

Champions Trophy Babar

Babar scored 133 runs at an average of 44.33 in the tournament. He played a crucial inning of 31 against South Africa and a sensible 46 against India in the final.

World Number one in T20i (2018)

Babar Azam has been consistently performing for Pakistan since the beginning of his career in T20.

His real test was in New Zealand. There he failed miserably in the one-day series. Still, he played a crucial role in Pakistan’s victory in the T20 series in New Zealand.

After this series, the Pakistani team got the position in the world rankings. At the same time, he also became the world’s number one batsman in the T20i rankings for the first time.

Rise In Test Cricket (2018-19)

In 2018, it was said that he was an excellent player in limited-overs cricket, but not in Tests. As a result, the public was demanding that he be dropped from the Test team.

But he once again proved everyone wrong. He played an excellent inning of 68 runs at Lord’s. Still, unfortunately, he got injured and eventually was out of the match and the series.

But he continued to perform in Test cricket. He scored 221 runs in the South Africa series and dominated most of the South African fast bowlers.

Babar Azam in Test

Before that England series, his batting average was around 20-25 runs. Today his batting average is close to 43.

World Cup (2019)

While the 2019 World Cup left bad memories for Pakistan Cricket, it was an essential part of Babar Azam’s career.

He played the best innings of his career against New Zealand in the world cup, which will always be remembered. He scored 101* while chasing 237.

2019 World Cup Babar

In the 2019 World Cup, Babar Azam scored 474 Runs and broke Javed Miandad’s World Cup record for most runs scored by a Pakistani in a single World Cup.

The Leadership of Pakistan Cricket Team (2020)

Babar was appointed as the new Captain of the Pakistan T20 team ahead of the Australia Tour in 2020.

In Australia, the team’s performance was not up to the mark. Still, the team began to catch up as Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by 2-0. Azam’s individual performance was also much better. As a result, he was awarded Man of the Series.

He was announced as the Captain of the Pakistan ODI team before the England series in 2020.

He started his ODI captaincy with a tour of Zimbabwe to Pakistan. He played a crucial role in winning the series and was named Player of the series.

Under the leadership of Babar Azam, Pakistan defeated South Africa first in the home series and then in South Africa.

World Number one ODI Batter (2021)

On the tour of South Africa, He scored a magnificent 103 runs in the first ODI And 94 off 82 in 3rd ODI.

After that series, when ICC released the new ODI rankings, Babar became the world’s number one ODI player.

Confident Captain (2021)

When Rameez Raja became the chairman of the PCB, he gave Babar Azam full authority to do whatever he wanted and make his own decisions. As a result, changes were made in the team before the World Cup, and Shoaib Malik was brought back to the team.

The confidence given by Rameez Raja was seen in the captaincy of Babar during the Game against India, and he became the first captain to beat India in the World Cup.

Babar With Flag

And during the World Cup, when the ICC updated its rankings, Babar once again became the World’s Number One T20i player.

International Records

  • 2nd fastest Pakistani batsman to reach 1000 runs in ODI (21 innings).
  • Fastest Pakistani batsman to reach 2000 runs in ODI cricket (45 innings). Jointly hold this record with Zaheer Abbas and Kevin Pietersen.
  • Fastest Asian batsman to reach 3000 runs in ODI cricket (68 innings).
  • Fastest batsman to score 7 ODI centuries (33 innings)
  • The only cricketer to score 5 consecutive centuries in a single country (UAE).
  • Fastest batsman to reach 1000 runs in T20 Internationals (26 innings).
  • Most runs for Pakistan in a single World Cup (474 runs in the 2019 World Cup).

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Written by Ibtaihaj Yousuf & Aaliyan Khan

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