Mirpur: Pakistan’s left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, who took the wickets of Australia stars David Warner and Shane Watson in the first over of their innings at the ICC World Twenty20 on Sunday, did not fully take in the enormity of his achievement.
The 35-year-old, who is a prolific wicket-taker in Pakistan’s domestic cricket, hasn’t had many chances on the international stage despite his talent. So far, he has only played in two Test matches and five Twenty20 Internationals.
Softly spoken Babar, who also played in UAE domestic cricket a few seasons ago, said: “I frankly did not know that they [Warner and Watson] were two great batsmen. I bowled as usual at a line and length, which I am used to bowling in every match.”
Babar had to wait nearly ten years since his first class debut to play a Test match, and when he did get his chance it was against South Africa in Abu Dhabi in October 2013. He made his Twenty20 International debut against the West Indies in July 2013.
“As I made my debut against West Indies and had won the man of the series in the Twenty20 of that tour, I have learned to bowl against top batsmen. So I am not scared of bowling at top batsmen like Chris Gayle. I follow only one rule whenever I bowl and that is to follow the instruction of the captain and bowl as he needs.”
Babar was close to taking up football like his father Abdul Gaffar. “My father was an international footballer and I began by playing football, but when he saw me liking cricket, he allowed me to do so and encouraged me,” said Babar, who owes his success to Shahid Munir, who was also a leg-spinner and coached him until he died in a car accident.
“I bowled well against Australia because of the confidence given by my captain and coach. I want to represent Pakistan in all forms of the game,” said Babar, who has ten wickets from his five T20Is.