KARACHI: Azam Khan, the son of Pakistan’s former wicket-keeper and captain Moin Khan, was ridiculed last year for being overweight. There were memes all around him, questioning his credibility to be in Quetta Gladiators’ PSL squad.
On Thursday, he walked on to the field with Quetta 3 down for 26. He had to face similar taunts as he took the steps towards the wicket. But soon, everything was changed for him, and for the people sitting in the stadium for the Gladiators versus United match.
One inning changed everyone’s perception about Khan, those who were booing him, started chanting and cheering for him. For Azam, this all was a very special experience. “Certainly good feeling to score runs. And, scoring runs is the only way a player can answer his critics,” Azam told the media after his 59 off 33 at National Stadium.
“I was given confidence by the team management at the nets that I am going to be included for this match, I was mentally prepared,” Azam said. The 21 year old flamboyant batsman said that he felt bad when he was ridiculed earlier but he couldn’t do much and realized that the only answer to critics could be his performance.
“I can’t stop people from saying things about me, that’s beyond my control but what is in my control is my performance and once you start performing, your critics become your supporters,” said the young batsman.
“I have improved a lot since my last appearance in PSL, I have lost my weight and have worked to improve my skills,” he said. He added that he didn’t let negativity pull him down and that’s why he was able to do what he did on Thursday night.
Azam was once dubbed as Pakistan’s Chris Gayle by team owner of Quetta Gladiators, Nadeem Omar. However, Azam wants to remain grounded. “I am not even 10% of Chris Gayle,” he said.
“I try to idolize Babar Azam as he’s the best in this era and I want to be as good as he is,” Azam aimed. When he was asked to differentiate between Moin as father and Moin as coach, Azam said that when he’s on field for cricket, Moin is coach. “He is as coach to me as he’s to any other player of the team,” Azam explained.