South Africa’s former batsman Hashim Amla, in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, heaped praise on Pakistan’s prolific batsman Babar Azam.
The 36-year-old claimed that Babar would get better and better from this point while admiring his work ethic.
“Babar Azam is a wonderful player. I retired fairly recently and I have played with him. Over the last year he has been a wonderful player. He is getting better and better and at a young age that he is at, he will have to go through ups and downs like anybody but he is a great talent and his work ethic is very good,” said Amla.
Batting mentor for the Peshawar Zalmi
The former batsman, who is currently serving as a batting mentor for the Peshawar Zalmi franchise in the ongoing Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) 5, stated that his trip to Pakistan has been very enjoyable.
“It’s been a very enjoyable trip. To be very honest, the security arrangements have been excellent. We haven’t had any issues. We have managed to get out of the hotel and go to have dinner as well as other places, so it’s been really good. We have thoroughly enjoyed how professional everything has been,” he said. “This is my third time in Pakistan. I came here in 2007 with the South African team on a Test tour. We played a Test in Lahore and then in Karachi. Two or three years ago, we were fortunate to come here with the World XI team.”
Kamran Akmal as an asset for the team
Amla praised the warm welcome he has received from the Peshawar Zalmi franchise while highlighting batsman Kamran Akmal as an asset for the team.
“The Zalmi team has been very warm and welcoming. They are a fantastic franchise to be involved with. They have been very successful in the past. It’s still early in the season. We are getting there. We are trying to get a good combination going,” he said. “Kamran Akmal is a fantastic player. He has been great for Pakistan for many years now. He is a wonderful player. The dedication and commitment he has for his batting has been wonderful to see. He is such a dynamic player, who is certainly an asset to have in any team.”
The former batsman termed the award granted to all-rounder Darren Sammy as a great initiative while acknowledging his contributions to Pakistan cricket.
“Darren has done so much in creating this awareness of bringing international cricket back to Pakistan. It is a fantastic honor for him. We joke about how he is now Darren Sammy-stan. It’s great for him and I think it is a wonderful initiative,” he said.
Amla stated that every format in cricket has a distinct flavor however Test cricket is the most rewarding format in the sport.
“Every format has a different flavor. I think Test cricket is the toughest and most personally rewarding. To score runs in Test cricket, I know how hard it is to practice, train and then go through the mental battles. To score in the Test format holds more weight than any of the other formats. Test cricket has a special place. Then you have the One-day International World Cup. We unfortunately haven’t won it, which had been our goal for a long time,” he concluded.