Star batsman Babar Azam has opened up and shared his journey from being a ‘ball-picker’ during a match between Pakistan and South Africa in 2007 to becoming the Test captain and leading the team against the Proteas on their first visit after fourteen years.

In a video shared by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the 26-year-old recalled the time when he was a ball-picker in the Test match in 2007 between the Green Caps and the Proteas at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore which increased his passion for the game.

“My cricket journey started back in 2007,” said Azam. “I had a passion for the game but I really wanted to see international stars play in front of me. At the time, South African team was here so I asked someone to help me become a ball picker. I used to go daily from Gulberg to Gaddafi Stadium.”


Azam continued: “I used to enjoy picking up balls. I remember watching Inzamam-ul-Haq’s farewell innings where he got out before breaking the record of great Javed Miandad. I witnessed it live the way he went back to the dressing room and took his anger out.”

“This journey has been long and tough but I feel blessed to be making my Test captaincy debut against the same team,” he shared further.

It is pertinent to add here that Babar’s cousin Kamran Akmal was the first-choice wicketkeeper for Pakistan from 2007 to 2010.

Later, sharing PCB’s video, Babar said: “This humble story is for our youth. May your dreams keep you awake and motivate you to run that extraordinary yard.”

“You are enough. A thousand times enough,” he added.

Babar will be leading the national team for the first time in the five-day format in the first Test against South Africa which will begin from Tuesday, January 26 at the National Stadium in Karachi.