Azam Khan is among Pakistan’s newest faces in international cricket. He is the son of former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Moin Khan and has been included in the squad for this year’s T20I matches against England.
Debuts and early years
Khan made his List A debut for Pakistan Television during the 2018-19 Quaid-e-Azam One Day Cup. His professional T20 debut was for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League of 2019. He was also drafted by the Galle Gladiators for the first edition of the Lanka Premier League. His first-class debut came in 2020, when Sindh played him in the 2020-21 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He is due to play for the Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League 2021.
Lanka Premier League stint
The Lanka Premier League held its first ever edition in 2020. Khan was with the Gladiators and put in a string of sterling performances. His 215 runs in nine innings came at an average of 30.71 and strike rate of 186.95. His tally was stronger than those of many LPL and international players with much more domestic experience, such as Shoaib Malik of Pakistan, Samit Patel of England, Brendan Taylor of Zimbabwe and Chadwick Walton of the West Indies.
Abu Dhabi T10
Khan was with the Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10 in 2021. He, again impressed. Fans and critics alike were especially taken by his swashbuckling 54 against the Northern Warriors. It was struck at the same venue that will host the remainder of the 2021 PSL – the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Khan will rejoin the Quetta Gladiators for that tournament. There are great sites for online betting in Pakistan and India, such as bet365, that have Quetta priced at 11.0 to take the PSL 2021 title. If Khan has a truly terrific restart, this could well be within the franchise’s reach – and ability to beat the Karachi Kings (3.0) and Lahore Qalandars (3.5) to the final trophy.
Physique and criticism
Khan has copped some flak for not sporting the build and athleticism of many contemporaries such as Mahendra Singh Dhoni. A few players of repute, including South Africa’s Faf du Plessis, though, have effectively stepped to Azam’s defence.
“When it comes to fitness, every guy has a responsibility to try and improve every day. That looks different for every single person. For someone like him Azam, no, he doesn’t have to look like me to be successful. It would just be small improvements every day. Right now, it might be something like fielding he could focus on, getting quicker to the ball, making sure the hands are good, taking all the catches and gradually putting in the work to become a better version of himself, or myself, or someone,” said du Plessis, who will be Khan’s team-mate at the Gladiators.
“It’s unfair to compare different people, we’re comparing two different players. He’s a guy who will always come and be a power hitter and hit it a long way. What he will need to work on obviously is how can he make sure I’m fit enough to run between wickets. I’m certainly not a believer that every guy has to have a six-pack to be a successful cricketer. You work with what you have. You look at the greats in the game before, there’s been guys long before me and after me and him, who will all look different but had the skillsets to perform.”
Moin represented Pakistan in 69 Tests and 219 ODIs from 1990 to 2004. Cricket runs in the family’s genes. They exemplify father-son combinations in professional and world cricket. Chris and Stuart Broad (England), Geoff, Shaun and Mitchell Marsh (Australia) – and Shivnarine and Tagenarine Chanderpaul (Guyana and West Indies) are other good examples.