Andy Flower praises Babar Azam's extraordinary cricketing skills

Flower acknowledged the toughness of facing Australia and New Zealand, emphasizing the need to be at the top of the game to avoid getting punished

Andy Flower praises Babar Azam's extraordinary cricketing skills PHOTO: AFP

Former Zimbabwean cricketer, Andy Flower, has shared his thoughts on the ongoing ILT20 tournament, his absence from PSL 2024, his experience with Multan Sultans, and Pakistan's recent performance in Australia and New Zealand.

In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Flower acknowledged the significance of having Pakistan international cricketers participating in the ILT20 tournament. 

"It is great to have some Pakistan international cricketers playing in this tournament. Really good for the immediate coverage and the audience interest. I am looking forward to their participation this year and that will be a great thing for the tournament,” Flower said.

Flower revealed that he won't be participating in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2024 due to time constraints and exhaustion. Reflecting on the previous year, where he juggled ILT20, PSL, and IPL without breaks, Flower admitted feeling drained and making mistakes. 

"Unfortunately, I haven't got the time or the energy at the moment (for PSL 2024). Last year I did the ILT20, Pakistan Super League and IPL with no breaks at all in between and I found that I was getting drained and making some mistakes," he further added.

Moreover, Flower shared his affection for his time with Multan Sultans, expressing respect for the Tareen family and his enjoyment working with Alamgir and Ali Tareen. While he won't be returning this year, Flower praised the appointment of Abdul Rehman as coach.

"I loved my time with Multan Sultans. I had tremendous respect from Tareen family. I love working with Alamgir and Ali Tareen. It will be difficult not to go back but they have got Abdul Rehman in charge this year. I really like and respect Abdul Rehman, he is an excellent coach. And hopefully they are gonna have a good season, they are in good hands," Flower said.

Commenting on Pakistan's recent tours to Australia and New Zealand, Flower acknowledged the challenges posed by these formidable opponents. He also acknowledged the toughness of facing Australia and New Zealand, emphasizing the need to be at the top of the game to avoid getting punished.

"Test series against Australia was an excellent Test series. Pakistan had their chances if they caught a few crucial catches then might have taken some wins away but Australia are good in Australia and know their conditions inside out. They are brilliant and if you give them any gap to go through, they will brutally force their way through their gap and that's what happened. But I think they [Pakistan] should be proud of the cricket they played in Australia," Flower said.

"These [Australia & New Zealand] are tough opponents to come up against and if you don't ride up on top of your game, you get punished. It's not entirely surprising they have had two tough tours," he further added.

Flower refrained from commenting on Babar Azam's captaincy changes, citing his lack of access to the dressing room dynamics. However, he praised Babar's batting form in a recent T20 game, recognizing him as an outstanding cricketer who consistently sets high standards.

"I would be reticent to comment about that because I am not in their dressing room so I don't know about the ins and outs of how the leadership is working," Flower said.

"I saw him [Babar] batting in the T20 game the other day, he looked in good form. He is a guy who sets very high standards, he is very consistent but we all have our fluctuations. You can't be at the top of your game all the time. No one is super human. He is an outstanding cricketer,” he concluded.