Simon Doull, a former New Zealand cricketer who was providing commentary during Match 25 between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League on March 8, expressed disapproval of Babar Azam, the captain of Peshawar Zalmi. Doull criticized Babar for his slow scoring rate as he neared his century after choosing to bat first.
According to the 53-year-old, Babar Azam seemed to be prioritizing his personal achievement over his team’s success. Initially, Babar played with an aggressive approach and scored 83 runs off 46 deliveries. However, it took him 14 more balls to reach the hundred-run mark, which could have affected his team’s chances of scoring well in the final overs, despite having nine wickets in hand.
Simon Doull slams Babar Azam
“The last little while, that is all that been happening rather than putting the team first. Rather than looking for boundaries. The is still so much firepower to come. Hundreds are brilliant and the stats are great. But it has to be team first,” Doull said.
Babar Azam concluded his innings on 115 runs off 65 balls, hitting 15 fours and three sixes. He received substantial support from Saim Ayyub, who scored 74 runs off 34 balls, and Rovman Powell, who scored 35 runs off 18 balls, enabling Peshawar Zalmi to achieve a formidable total of 240/2 in their allocated 20 overs. Earlier, in January, Simon Doull had made a controversial comment about Babar Azam, where he criticized the quality of pitches prepared for Test cricket in Pakistan during their series against New Zealand. On air, he had questioned whether Babar preferred such flat tracks to boost his statistics.
“Where does that directive come from? Does that come from Babar who wants to bat on a road and improve his own stats? Or does it come from above him?,” he said.
Jason Roy destroyed Peshawar Zalmi
Returning to the game, Quetta Gladiators faced a daunting task of chasing the massive target. Nevertheless, opener Jason Roy showed no intention of surrendering to the Peshawar Zalmi bowlers as he hit them all over the ground. Roy’s incredible knock of 145* off 63 balls, comprising 20 fours and five sixes, had the Rawalpindi crowd on the edge of their seats.
Martin Guptill scored 21 runs off 8 balls, and Mohammad Hafeez contributed 41 runs off 18 balls, playing crucial roles in the Quetta Gladiators’ chase of the target of 241. The Gladiators managed to achieve their goal with ten balls remaining and eight wickets in hand.