‘I’d spend the whole budget on Babar’ – James Anderson baffled at Pakistan skipper’s non-selection in The Hundred
James Anderson is baffled that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam went unsold during this year’s draft for The Hundred, saying he would have spent the “entire budget” to have him in his team.
Babar entered the draft with a base price of £100,000 but was unable to find any takers, going unsold for the second successive year. The Pakistan skipper had not been picked by any team in The Hundred in 2022 as well after listing himself at a reserve price of £125,000.
Anderson was surprised that Babar did not fetch any bids from the eight teams and admitted, somewhat jokingly, that he would have shelled out the team’s entire budget on the batter.
Speaking on BBC’s Tailenders podcast, the 40-year-old quick said, “I’d pay double for him. I’d spend the whole budget on Babar Azam. The only thing I can guess [for his absence] is that there might have been an availability issue. He might not be available for the whole Hundred.”
The Hundred is scheduled to run from August 1 to August 27 this year and will clash with Pakistan’s away three-match ODI series against Afghanistan.
Babar has been in prime form in T20s since the start of 2020, scoring 4,621 runs in 125 domestic games, at an average of 45.75. Only Mohammad Rizwan has scored more runs than Babar in this interim, although the latter’s strike rate of 131.76 has been a bone of contention in the past.
Along with Babar, Rizwan has not been picked in any team in The Hundred either for 2023. Pakistan internationals Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, however, have been selected and will represent Welsh Fire.