Watch: Shadab Khan introduces Babar Azam as 'mixture of Ronaldo and Messi' to Manchester United legend

By, New Delhi
Aug 20, 2022 08:41 PM IST

Babar Azam and co. got a tour of the most successful Dutch side that has won Eredivisie a record 36 times, along with four Champions League titles under its belt.

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan came up with an interesting tag for skipper Babar Azam as the Asian side visited iconic football club AFC Ajax during their tour of the Netherlands. Babar and co. got a tour of the most successful Dutch side that has won Eredivisie a record 36 times, along with four Champions League titles under its belt. Members of the Pakistan team also met legendary Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who is currently the CEO of the club.

Pakistan cricketers met iconic goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar(Twitter)
Pakistan cricketers met iconic goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar(Twitter)

“He is Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Messi, mixture [of both],” said Shadab while pointing towards Babar, as he introduced the star batter to the former Manchester United star.

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Ajax skipper Dusan Tadic swapped signed shirts by players of both teams, while team managers Mansoor Rana and van der Sar also exchanged shirts. Ajax FC also shared a picture on their official Twitter handle with the caption – “When football meets cricket.”

Pakistan have already completed a series win in Netherlands, having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. In the first ODI, Fakhar Zaman scored 109 runs in 109 balls, including 12 fours and a six, as Pakistan won the series opener by 16 runs.

Babar also scored 74 in 85 to share a 168-run partnership for the second wicket with Zaman, while Shadab smashed a 28-ball 48*. On the bowling front, Haris Rauf (3-67) and Naseem Shah (3-51) did most of the damage.

In the second ODI, Babar again chipped in with 57 off 65 balls before Mohammad Rizwan and Agha Salman helped Pakistan get over the finish line. Babar crossed fifty for the 38th time in 89 ODI innings and put up an 88-run stand with wicketkeeper Rizwan.

After Babar's exit, Rizwan adopted a relatively cautious approach as he compiled 69 off 82 deliveries, while Salman hit regular boundaries and clubbed the final ball of the match for six to finish 50 not out in just his second ODI. Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz took three wickets apiece to dismiss the Netherlands for 186.

"We are trying different combinations and Agha in his second match has showed his class," said Azam after the game. "The fast bowlers bowled very well in the first 10 overs and took wickets and later on spinners Shadab (Khan) and Nawaz bowled very well and took wickets."

For the upcoming Asia Cup, Pakistan are due to arrive in Dubai on Monday after playing the last match of its ODI series on Sunday. They have already suffered a major blow before the continental tournament, with pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi being ruled out because of a knee injury.

The 22-year-old Afridi hurt his right knee while fielding during the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle last month. “PCB’s department of sports and exercise medicine will be working closely with the player over the coming weeks to ensure his safe return to competitive cricket,” said PCB.

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