Babar Azam goes golfing with Pakistan coaches on rest day


Babar Azam and head coach Grant Bradburn seen at the golf club in this collage. — Reporter 

KOLKATA: Pakistan’s national squad had a rest day on Tuesday between the matches and training sessions for the ICC World Cup 2023, currently underway in India.

To spend his time on the rest day, captain Babar Azam went golfing in Kolkata. On the occasion, the team’s head coach Grant Bradburn, batting coach Andrew Puttick, and bowling coach Morne Morkel accompanied the skipper to the golf club.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team members spent their leisure day taking part in gyming and swimming sessions at their hotel.

It may be noted that the Pakistan squad is not allowed to go on outings often due to the tight security protocol they have been given in India.

The team members will resume their training from tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2pm local time.

It must be noted that Pakistan defeated New Zealand by 21 runs (DLS method) in a must-win match that was consistently interrupted by rain and was eventually called off.

The match was stopped due to rain while the Green Shirts were batting at 200-1 in 25.3 overs with Fakhar Zaman (126*) and skipper Babar Azam (66*) still on the crease.

Courtesy of a blistering batting display by Fakhar, Pakistan were 21 runs ahead on the DLS score after 25.3 overs and emerged victorious.

The 194-run partnership between Azam and Fakhar propelled the Green Shirts to an essential win as they now prepare to take on the struggling England team at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on November 11.

Despite victory against New Zealand there are still many ifs and buts on whether Babar Azam’s men can qualify for the World Cup semi-finals. It is pertinent to look into the factors that might decide the Green Shirts’ prospects of making it to the knockout stage of the tournament.

The best-case scenario for Pakistan is to secure a win against England and if Sri Lanka beat the Kiwis on November 9, the national side might likely qualify for the semis.

Apart from this straightforward scenario, the Men in Green’s future in the tournament also depends upon Afghanistan, who currently are tied with Pakistan with eight points.

If Afghanistan win their next two matches — against Australia and South Africa — they will qualify for the semis with 12 points.

However, even if they win one of their two remaining matches and Pakistan also wins their next match against England, both teams will again tie on the points table with 10 points, bringing the net run-rate (NRR) into play.

At present, Pakistan’s NRR stands at +0.036 as compared to Afghanistan’s -0.330. However, the equation might change as Pakistan are yet to play one more match, whereas Afghanistan have two more matches in the tournament.


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