I saw Babar Azam grow as a cricketer: Arthur

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From Sports Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Full of praise for talented batsman Babar Azam, former Pakistani Coach Mickey Arthur said we gave him the time and we were seeing the results now.

“I saw Babar Azam grow as a cricketer. That was so important. People had said that Babar Azam cannot play. I ensured that Babar Azam plays every game for Pakistan. He is that good a player. We had to give him the roots to grow and wings to fly. We had to give him the time and we are seeing the results now,” sportstar quoted Mickey as saying.

Mickey, who was appointed as head coach of the Pakistan team in May 2016, said he love developing younger players. “Giving them opportunity was crucial because over a period of time, that gives you sustainable success. I have always been a coach, who has tried to identify the areas that we needed to improve. I have tried to identify the brand of cricket we play and then structure the team with people who can fit into that brand of cricket.”

“Then, give them an opportunity and allow them to get an extended run. That is important because that gives the players confidence and allows your team culture to grow. Once you have that, you can win a title like the Champions Trophy 2017. We (Pakistan) started the tournament ranked eighth and we ended up winning it. It happened because of the confidence we showed in the young players,” he said. Pakistan beat Indian by 180 runs in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

Mickey said the one key aspect to coaching Pakistan was understanding the religious aspect around it, which was very prominent. “It’s understanding the respect level that the young Pakistan players have for the senior players. It’s there in India too. There is a real respect,” he said.

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