At a time when the sporting scenario has been put to a halt by the outbreak of COVID-19, many renowned names from the cricket fraternity are dishing out their opinions and all-time XI sides. Until now, many coaches and cricketers including Shane Warne, Tom Moody and Wasim Jaffer have voiced their opinion while stating their Best XI team.
Recently, former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur also joined the trend and listed out seven players who are the future of the nation. Arthur picked Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf as the future of Pakistan cricket.
Babar Azam, who has emerged as a modern-day great of the sport, found himself first in Arthur’s list. Babar is currently the national side’s T20 captain and the right-hander is set to replace Sarfaraz Ahmed as ODI skipper as well. The prolific batsman was the highest run-scorer in PSL 5 where he amassed 345 runs in 10 games at an average of 49.28.
‘Pakistan has some wonderful young players’: Mickey Arthur
Following Babar, Arthur picked the duo of Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq. Both Zaman and Imam have delivered impressive performances in the limited-overs format so far. Zaman and Imam also hold the record as being the fastest and second-fastest to score 1,000 runs in ODIs respectively.
Arthur also picked Haris Sohal, Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf in his list. Afridi, 20, has already emerged as one of the vital elements of Pakistan’s pace bowling force. Meanwhile, Shadab Khan also delivered impressive performances in the PSL 5 as he scored 263 runs in the tournament as finished as fifth-highest run-scorer.
Talking about Haris Sohail, he has also delivered consistent performances while bolstering Pakistan’s middle-order lineup. Faheem Ashraf also gathered 50 runs in seven matches in the PSL 5 along with scalping seven wickets for Islamabad United.
Mickey Arthur also opined that people in Pakistan are emotionally attached to the game. However, he also stated that people need to be patient with players before they settle themselves and start delivering for the national side.
“The thing about Pakistan cricket is that the people are so emotionally attached to the game,” Arthur said in a YouTube video as quoted by Cricket Pakistan. “Either you are king or you are down there. There is no middle way. I loved and hated that facet of Pakistan cricket. But I think people need to be patient, you can’t get instant results. You need to give chances to new players to find their feet.
“Pakistan has some wonderful young players, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf and of course Babar Azam. I think this is the core of players Misbah-ul-Haq should depend on to carry Pakistan cricket forward.”
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