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Babar Azam: The Green Run Machine

A right-handed top-order batsman known for his discipline and level-headed attitude, Babar Azam laid claim to a long-term spot in Pakistan's batting line-up, a nation known to dish out fearsome fast bowlers.

Born in Lahore, Babar Azam is a top-order technically sound and classy batsman with plenty of elegance and temperament. A first cousin to the Akmal brothers, he began his cricket career at a very young age and represented his country in the various youth championships, leading up to his senior team debut.

  • Personal Details
  • Current Rankings
  • Career Beginning
  • Career Summary
  • Bio
    • Early Years
    • Youth Career and Entry into International Cricket
    • Writing the Record Books
    • Pakistan Super League Career
    • Captain in All Formats
  • Records and Achievements
    • International Cricket
  • FAQs

Personal Details

Name Babar Azam
Date of Birth 15th October 1994
Birthplace Lahore
Height 5′9″
Playing Role Top-order batsman
Batting Style Right-handed batsman
Teams Played For Pakistan, Balochistan, Pakistan A, Pakistan Under-19, Somerset, Sylhet Sixers, Rangpur Rangers, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Central Punjabq

Current Rankings

Game Format Test ODI T20
ICC Ranking in Batting 11 1 3

Career Beginning

Test Debut vs. West Indies at Dubai, 13 Oct. 2016
ODI Debut vs. Zimbabwe at Lahore, 31 May 2015
T20I Debut vs. England at Manchester, 07 Sep. 2016
Indian T20 League Debut vs. Quetta at Dubai, 4 Feb 2016

Career Summary

Format M Inn Runs HS Avg SR 100 50 4s 6s CT
Test 33 59 2169 143 vs. Ban 42.52 56.42 5 16 258 10 22 72
ODI 80 78 3808 125 vs. Zim 56.83 88.7 13 17 342 37 38
T20I 55 52 2035 122 vs. SA 47.32 129.7 1 8 215 28 25

Babar Azam’s Bio

Early Years

Babar Azam was born on 15th October 1994 into a Punjabi family. He was born in Lahore and recalls the memories of "playing cricket and roaming around in the city streets." His cousins Kamran and Umar Akmal, who are older than him, were the reason he was attracted to cricket and their stories and success inspired him. He had been a ball boy at the Gaddafi Stadium before joining the cricket academy and starting his domestic cricket career there.

Babar Azam represented Pakistan in the U-15 World Championship, followed by the U-19 World Cups in 2010 and 2012. Azam showed a lot of promise and was the leading run scorer for Pakistan in both the World Cup editions. The journey after that was through the domestic system. Some steady knocks in the domestic circuit kept Azam in the reckoning and in the year 2015, he was finally selected for the national team to play against Zimbabwe. Batting in the middle order, Babar played a few good knocks but his most defining moment came in a series against the West Indies where he became the third Pakistan batsman, after Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar, to hit 3 consecutive ODI centuries. A Test debut against the West Indies also went well and the fairytale had a continuity. However, soon after, flaws were identified in his technique on the bouncy tracks of Australia in late 2016 and early 2017 in Tests.

Youth Career and Entry into International Cricket

Babar Azam represented Pakistan in the U-15 World Championship, followed by the U-19 World Cups in 2010 and 2012. Azam showed a lot of promise and was the leading run scorer for Pakistan in both the World Cup editions.

The journey after that was through the domestic system. Some steady knocks in the domestic circuit kept Azam in the reckoning and in the year 2015, he was finally selected for the national team to play against Zimbabwe. Batting in the middle order, Babar played a few good knocks but his most defining moment came in a series against the West Indies where he became the third Pakistan batsman, after Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar, to hit 3 consecutive ODI centuries. A Test debut against the West Indies also went well and the fairytale had a continuity. However, soon after, flaws were identified in his technique on the bouncy tracks of Australia in late 2016 and early 2017 in Tests.

Writing the Record Books

Over the years that followed, Azam became, by far, Pakistan's best active batsman, the most famous cricketer in the country, and one of the well-known batsmen in the world. He is one of Pakistan's best-ever batsmen even with a big part of his career still ahead of him.

Babar has proved himself as a batsman in all formats and his exploits in T20 cricket are known to everyone. In this short format renowned for muscling big shots, Babar quickly made a name for himself by playing delightful and eye-pleasing strokes. He also broke Virat Kohli's record for the fastest 1000 T20I runs and in the year 2018 dethroned Aaron Finch to become the No. 1 batsman in ICC's T20I Rankings.

He was the second-fastest player to make 2000 ODI runs and the second-fastest to make 1000 T20I runs. He already has more ODI hundreds than all but two Pakistan batsmen. While the first couple of years of Test cricket didn't bring him much success in white-ball cricket, steady improvements year on year have seen him rank among the best Test batsmen since the start of 2018.

Pakistan Super League Career

Babar represented Islamabad United in the inaugural season of the Pakistan Super League. He moved to Karachi Kings in the next season. He performed well in the 2017 season, scoring 291 runs and finishing the tournament as the second-highest run scorer, behind his cousin Kamran Akmal.

He was retained for the 2018 season and was the third-highest run scorer in the season, with 5 half centuries. He was again retained for the 2019 season. Before the 2020 season, he was appointed vice captain of the franchise and was the leading run scorer in the Pakistan Super League 2020. He led his team to victory in the final and was adjudged the Man of the Match in the qualifier and the final. He was also named the Player of the Tournament in the 2020 season.

Captain in All Formats

Within 2-3 years of playing for Pakistan, Babar Azam established himself as one of the most important members of the squad and was given the additional responsibility of leading the team in T20Is and ODIs in 2019 before eventually captaining the Test side in 2021. This appears to have had little impact on his personal form so far.

While he doesn't quite have a reputation as one of the deeper thinkers of the game, his captaincy shows signs of modern progressive thinking and he is learning on the job.

Records and Achievements

Babar Azam has made a huge impact since his debut on the international stage. He has entertained cricket fans by his performance and is a holder of several records at present.

International Cricket

Here are some of Babar Azam’s biggest achievements in international cricket:

  • Babar is the second-fastest Pakistan batsman to reach 1000 runs in ODIs (21 innings).
  • He is the fastest batsman to reach 2000 runs in ODIs (45 innings). He holds the record jointly with Zaheer Abbas and Kevin Pietersen.
  • Babar Azam is the fastest Asian batsman to reach 3000 runs in ODIs (68 innings).
  • He holds the record of scoring the most runs in the first 25 innings of his career (1306 runs).
  • Babar Azam is the only player to score 5 consecutive centuries in a single country (UAE).
  • Babar is the fastest batsman to score 7 ODI centuries (33 innings).
  • He is the second-fastest batsman to reach 1000 runs in T20Is (26 innings).
  • Babar Azam has scored the most runs for Pakistan in a single World Cup (474 runs in the 2019 World Cup).
  • He has been the top ODI scorer for Pakistan in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Babar Azam related to Kamran Akmal?

Yes. Kamran Akmal is the older cousin of Babar Azam. His other cousins include Umar Akmal and Adnan Akmal.

Who is Babar Azam’s favorite cricketer?

In a recent interview, Babar Azam revealed that legendary South African cricketer AB de Villiers has always been his favorite batsman.

Is Babar Azam the No. 1-ranked ODI batsman?

Babar Azam is currently the No.1-ranked ODI batsman with 865 points, ahead of India’s Virat Kolhi and Rohit Sharma.

Which PSL teams has Babar Azam played for?

Babar Azam started his PSL career with Islamabad United in the inaugural season of the PSL in 2016. He switched to Karachi Kings in the next season and has been playing with them since then. He is the current captain of Karachi Kings.

Was Babar Azam fastest to score 3000 ODI runs?

Babar Azam is the third-fastest overall and the fastest Asian batsman to reach 3000 runs in ODIs. He achieved the feat in just 68 innings. South Africa’s Hashim Amla holds the record for the fastest 3000 ODI runs, having taken only 57 innings to reach the milestone.


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