Sunday Feb 12, 2023
With the Pakistan Super League's (PSL) eighth edition set to kick off tomorrow (Monday), Peshawar Zalmi's Head Coach Daren Sammy on Sunday praised star-batter Babar Azam by saying he is one of the best players in the world.
Sammy, while speaking to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Digital stated: "It is a pleasure to have him on board in the Zalmi camp. Babar in the dressing room is a great thing to have. He is one of the best batters in the world."
Heaping the praise for the 28-year-old, the coach went on: "I always tell people I do not see myself as a coach. I call myself a tactician. You look at Babar and there is not much more you could add to his game from a technical aspect."
Sammy also opened up about being associated with the PSL over the years while also becoming a household name in the country.
"It has been an amazing journey. I never forget the first time I saw this number, I think +92 is the area code, it was a young Javed Afridi sending me a message and welcoming me to the Zalmi team after the auction. That started the relationship and it has been a great one," the former West Indies captain said.
"The journey has been such that I feel like I'm at home. Zalmi will always be my home. If you cut my skin, you will see Zalmi blood coming out of it. That is how the journey has been", he added.
Expressing his close relation with the PSL team, the 39-year-old said: "I've become a household name because of Peshawar Zalmi. It is something I will always be thankful for and the icing on the cake was being able to play a part in bringing cricket back here through the PSL."
"I remember back in 2017, when Marlon Samuels, [Dawid] Malan, Chris Jordan and myself won the cup and flew out, we said it was a small step in the right direction. To be part of something that's bigger than cricket in itself by fast-tracking [the return of international cricket to Pakistan] with Australia, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies [coming here]."
"The fans here can now watch Babar Azam score a hundred and Shaheen Shah Afridi take five wickets, it is something special. I do not think they ever saw Misbah [ul-Haq] score a Test hundred here, but it gives me joy to know I was part of something special," added Sammy.
The opening ceremony of PSL 2023 will be held in Multan on February 13 in which the Sultans and Lahore Qalandars will be clashing at the Multan Cricket Stadium.
The final will be played in Gaddafi stadium, Lahore on March 19.
More than 36 foreign players, representing 10 nations, will be in action during the tournament.