By Muhammad Nabeel
Fri, 02, 23

Add the wizardry of the spinners to the mix and you get a world class team that can beat anyone on their day....



They are cooking something special, that’s for sure. Pakistan cricket team, in the white ball format, is a very formidable outfit. They are packed with exciting young players; the team is a blend of explosive tearaway fast bowlers and some really skilled top order batsmen. Add the wizardry of the spinners to the mix and you get a world class team that can beat anyone on their day.

When Shaheen Afridi won the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award 2021, it was the first time since the inception of the awards in 2004 that the trophy had gone to a Pakistani cricketer. Some people called it a fluke based on the fact that the ICC schedule was impacted by COVID 19 and there wasn’t much cricket played in that period. However, Babar Azam claimed the accolade this time around shutting the mouths of many in the process.

Pakistan players winning one of the top individual awards in the world of cricket back-to-back is indicative of the fact that there’s something special that is waiting to absolutely explode on the grandest of stages. The question hopefully is when rather than if!


It feels like we are at the beginning of an unprecedented era for Pakistan’s white ball cricket. Over the last couple of decades, cricket has become a batsman friendly game; the advent and the subsequent global success of T20 cricket is evidence of that. It took time for the purists to embrace this form of the game because it sounded the death of specialist bowlers.

In the modern white ball cricket, a jack of all trades kind of a player was, and to some extent still is hot commodity, players who could do a little bit of everything, specialists seemed to be dying a slow and painful death. However, deep down, the fans knew that this swashbuckling style of cricket also needed balance between bat and ball. A good competition between a batsman and a bowler will always trump a slogfest; the purists knew it from day one and slowly it appears that this reality has become clear to one and all.

This is where Pakistan Cricket Team comes in the picture, a side that has traditionally depended on its bowlers to get them through tight situations. A classic case of one such battle was witnessed in Australia during the T20 World Cup last year when a hostile Pakistan pace battery took it on its shoulders to ram its way to T20 World Cup glory. What if Shaheen had completed his four overs at full fitness? The question will remain etched in the fans’ minds forever like a tragic love story.


The current crop of fast bowlers is tremendously gifted. They are all young and hopefully have long and successful careers ahead of them. They will grow together and learn from each other if they keep their feet on the ground and focus on the bigger picture. Led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, who himself is only 22, Pakistan pace attack in its pomp is a site to behold. The likes of Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah provide ammunition that can demolish any batting line-up.


Questions, however, have been raised on the captaincy of Babar Azam and some other weaker aspects of the team. Fans have short memory and there’s a saying in sports that backs this theory. They say you are as good as your last game; people normally judge you on your latest performance and previous performances, good or bad, fade away really fast and become history. For an elite sportsman it is, therefore, important to focus on the future and to build on the positives and work on improving the weaknesses.

Those who point fingers at Babar Azam for being naïve at times in crucial situations, forget that Pakistan Cricket team in white ball format under Babar Azam reached the semis in 2021 T20 World Cup, the final of the T20 Asia Cup and the 2022 T20 World Cup in a span of 12 to 15 months. They claimed a triangular tournament in New Zealand right before the World Cup, last year. However, missing out on the bigger prize after coming so close on multiple occasions is what’s hurting Babar and his men and if they are somehow able to clear that hurdle there’s no limit to what this group of players cannot achieve in limited overs cricket.