Former national team head coach Mickey Arthur in a youtube video by Cricket Pakistan, has picked Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf as the 7 youngsters who he believes are the future of Pakistan cricket.
Babar Azam, who sits in the top 5 of batsmens rankings across all three formats, is currently Pakistan’s T20 captain and is set to replace Sarfaraz Ahmed as ODI captain as well. The Lahore-born sensational most recently played for the Karachi Kings in the inconclusive Pakistan Super League (PSL) Season 5 and was the highest run-scorer with 345 runs in 10 games at an average of 49.28 and a strike-rate of 123.65.
While many will argue about Fakhar Zaman inconsistency as of late, both him and Imam have done exceptionally well in ODI cricket thus far hold the record as being the fastest and second-fastest to score 1,000 runs in the 50-over format respectively.
Shaheen Afridi may just be 20, but the speedster has already established himself as the spearhead of Pakistan’s pace attack, while Shadab is coming off an exceptional campaign in the PSL, where he captained Islamabad United. The allrounder Shadab was the 5th-highest run-getter in the tournament with 263 runs in nine matches at an average of 37.57 and a strike-rate of 159.39. He also claimed 8 scalps with his leg spin.
Haris Sohail has shown how can provide some solid cover for Pakistan in the middle-order. Faheem Ashraf is another fantastic allround option for Pakistan.
“The thing about Pakistan cricket is that the people are so emotionally attached to the game,” said Arthur.
“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.” he added.