Why Did Babar Azam Choose LPL Over GT20? His Father Answered

Babar Azam, one of Pakistan’s premier cricketers, has made a significant sacrifice in choosing to play in the 2023 Lanka Premier League (LPL) over the financially rewarding Global T20 Canada (GT20). Despite the hotter conditions and heavier workload in the LPL, Babar’s father, Azam Siddique, persuaded him to opt for the league in Sri Lanka to prepare for Pakistan’s upcoming international schedule.

As one of the 13 Pakistani players participating in the 2023 LPL, Babar’s presence has elevated the league’s profile. However, he initially expressed his desire to play in the GT20 due to Canada’s shorter duration, better pay, and cooler weather. The GT20’s final coincides with the LPL, making it challenging for Babar to participate in both leagues.

Azam Siddique carefully considered the implications of his son’s decision, considering Pakistan’s upcoming international commitments. With the Asia Cup and the World Cup scheduled in Sri Lanka and India, he believed that playing on spin-friendly wickets in the LPL would better prepare Babar for these crucial tournaments.

Azam Siddique revealed his conversation with Babar about choosing between the GT20 and the LPL. Despite the tempting offer from Canada, Babar was willing to prioritize his country’s interests. Azam Siddique highlighted how the experience of handling difficult wickets in Sri Lanka would be valuable for Babar and Pakistan’s performance in future tournaments.

“Salaam [Hello] Pakistan, Babar told me during the Sri Lanka Test series that he would be receiving the same amount of money for the Global T20 Canada league, which is for 10 [16] days, and the Colombo League [Lanka Premier League], which is for 25 days. The weather in Canada would also be very good, while it is intensely hot in Sri Lanka. I suggested playing the Sri Lanka League and mentioning that the Asia Cup would be held in the country. Pakistan could also play Afghanistan in Sri Lanka, and the experience of handling difficult wickets will also help in the World Cup.”

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Babar’s decision to play in the LPL instead of the GT20 reflects his unwavering commitment to Pakistan. Azam Siddique emphasized that Babar’s willingness to endure the testing Sri Lankan weather and play in the longer league demonstrates his dedication to the national team and his love for his country.

He added, “Those ten days of playing in the best weather and ten days of rest at home are tempting, but he was prepared to do everything for the country. During a recent match in Sri Lanka, he had to sit and rest twice and could not breathe properly in the heat.”

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