Picture Credit: PCB

In the recent Hundred draft, Pakistan captain and top-order batter Babar Azam surprisingly went unsold. Azam was part of the highest category of £125,000 for the Men’s Hundred 2022 Draft and wasn’t selected by any team. But reports suggest that the number one ranked T20I batter was not interested in committing to the tournament as he wants to focus on the national team’s schedule. 

The reports say that Azam hadn’t even ‘applied for the NOC’which is required for playing in the Hundred. “Babar Azam never applied for the NOC for the English summer. That means he is not interested despite being one of the few overseas who are bracketed among the top category,” a source told The News.

“He could have walked easily in any team as every English county was looking forward to luring him. Yet he preferred to stay away from hectic commitments more in order to concentrate fully on the national summer commitment,” the source added.

Other Pakistan players in the draft were Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Shoaib Malik, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Imad Wasim, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Iftikhar Ahmed etc.

Numero uno in T20Is 

Babar Azam has been one of the top batters in the T20I format, the right-handed batter has played 74 matches where he has scored 2686 runs at an incredible average of 45.53. He also bats with a strike rate of about 130 and has hit 26 half-centuries and one hundred in the shortest format. The 27-year-old is also number one in ICC rankings in the ODI format while being top ten in the Test format.

Former England captain and top-order batter Micheal Vaughan had called Azam the best ‘all-round batter’ in world cricket after his incredible century in the second Test against Pakistan. Vaughan had tweeted,  “Without question I think @babarazam258 is the best all-round Batter in the World right now .. Brilliant across all the formats .. #PAKvAUS.”

Pakistan’s Hectic Schedule

The Pakistan team had hosted West Indies and Australia, around their premier T20 tournament, the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The 2008 T20 World Cup champions are set to play a number of international matches in the second half of the year. Pakistan will face West Indies, the Netherlands, and Sri Lanka in the near future.