Wednesday Dec 15 2021
Web Desk

Watch: Saqlain Mushtaq challenges Babar Azam to a 'match'

Web Desk
Saqlain Mushtaq and Babar Azam pictured during the match. Photo: PCB Twitter video
Saqlain Mushtaq and Babar Azam pictured during the 'match'. Photo: PCB Twitter video

Saqlain Mushtaq was an iconic off-spinner during his cricketing days while Babar Azam is the world's best batsman in the white-ball format. 

Many fans would love to see a battle between the king and spin guru. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) entreated fans to an entertaining video in which the interim head coach challenges the Pakistani captain to a one-over match. 

"It is a matter of honour for me, that I am challenging the world's number one batsman," said Saqlain Mushtaq to Azam. "He has to score 12 runs in one over; an out will be given an out. I will tell him about the field [placement]," said the iconic former spinner. 

In response, Babar Azam asks Mushtaq whether he has to show leniency to the head coach given his seniority in age. 

"No ji, no," he said. "You have to play the match [with seriousness.]"

Saqlain then informs Babar Azam in detail about the field placement, telling him that he will place five people on the leg-side and four on the off-side. 

He warns Babar Azam about placing two fielders on his off-side. "If you try to play the cut or the reverse sweep, they will stop the ball," he said. 

As Saqlain walks to his run-up, Babar Azam tells fans: "The wicket is a bit low and he's also feeling some discomfort in his knees. I'll throw the match so that he's happy."

Babar hits the first ball for a single while he smashes the other near to the boundary. The captain seems disappointed when Iftikhar Ahmed, the umpire for the match, tells him that he has scored only two runs. Babar, apparently, wanted the umpire to record a boundary in his favour. 

Saqlain then discusses his tactics with another player (who cannot be seen), telling him that Babar Azam is firmly inside his crease. 

"I will have to bowl a bit wide to lure him out of his crease," he added. 

Saqlain does that exactly, bowling a bit wide. Babar falls for the trap, comes out of the crease and edges one to the (imaginary) wicketkeeper. 

A jubilant Saqlain Mushtaq tells Babar Azam he has to treat the team to dinner after losing the match.