Slow left arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar has been a regular feature of the Pakistan test side since Saeed Ajmal’s exclusion from the Pakistan’s longest format team. He made his test debut against South Africa in 2013.
Babar has picked up 51 wickets in 13 matches for Pakistan and played a crucial part in Pakistan’s victories off late. The spin bowler has played all his cricket at UAE and, although, he feels that playing there is just like playing at home but he would love to play cricket in their own backyard and sincerely hopes that international cricket will return to Pakistan one day.
Since the horrific turn of events nine years ago in Lahore when the Sri Lankan team was attacked which closed the doors of international cricket in Pakistan. The Zimbabwe team did visit Pakistan in 2015 but they remained the sole team to visit Pakistan and nothing substantial could be materialized after that.
“It’s just like playing at home,” Zulfiqar Babar tells Sport360. “Since Pakistan has been playing all its cricket in the UAE, the pitches behave similarly to Pakistan and support the spinners. It’s just like playing in Karachi or Lahore.”
“I do not have a home here but I am trying to settle here and bring my family over to the UAE,” explains the slow left-armer. “The atmosphere is just like being in Pakistan. People are so welcoming of all of the Pakistan players and all the families who bring us in are so nice to me. People take us to their homes and invite us for dinner and that is a real appeal for wanting to shift over to Dubai.”
“I’m just like everyone else, I feel like cricket should return to Pakistan since it’s such a passionate nation as far as cricket is concerned. I would like cricket to return to Pakistan and hope one day that I can play in front of a home crowd in Karachi, Lahore and all over the country,” Babar says.
“It would be a big setback not to play in Pakistan and it’s been a life’s desire to go back. If that was not fulfilled then it would be a very bad memory for me to look back on once I finish my career.”
“I wish that once cricket resumes in Pakistan it would be the series between India and Pakistan. Obviously, there were plans but for various reasons that didn’t happen,” he said
Zulfiqar Babar excelled against Australia, England and New Zealand in UAE playing the role of a front line leg spinner.