WATCH: Babar calling Saud ‘Chota Don’ among highlights from first day of camp

Amidst slip-catching drills, Babar Azam injected a touch of humor into the proceedings by playfully nicknaming Saud Shakeel as 'Chota Don'

WATCH: Babar calling Saud ‘Chota Don’ among highlights from first day of camp PHOTO: PCB

The Pakistan cricket team on Thursday started their training camp at the Pindi Cricket Stadium for the upcoming three-match Test series against Australia, starting from December 14, 2023.

During the first day of the training session, several noteworthy moments unfolded at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Amidst slip-catching drills, Babar Azam injected a touch of humor into the proceedings by playfully dubbing Saud Shakeel as 'Chota Don' (Little Don) after the southpaw adeptly secured a catch. This whimsical moniker drew inspiration from the comedic character 'Chota Don' portrayed by Rajpal Yadav in the Indian film 'Partner,' with the term 'Chota' humorously alluding to the character's diminutive stature.


From now on, Saud Shakeel is a chota don. Babar gave a new nickname to Saud Shakeel. 🥹😂#BabarAzam𓃵 #SaudShakeel

— Shaharyar Ejaz 🏏 (@SharyOfficial) November 23, 2023


In addition to the light-hearted banter, Babar Azam engaged in warm-up activities, undertaking a brisk jog around the ground accompanied by Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan.


3 stars running together@babarazam258 @iShaheenAfridi

— Hamza Ijaz (@HamzaEjaz367) November 23, 2023


Despite relinquishing his captaincy role, the star batter showcased a dedicated approach, focusing on refining his batting skills during the net practice session.


King Babar Azam looking in great touch ahead of the Australia Tour 🔥👑

— SAAD 🇵🇰 (@SaadIrfan258) November 23, 2023


After the training session, Pakistan fast-bowling coach, Umar Gul, in a media talk, revealed how Pakistan team is preparing for the Australia tour.

"Today was our first day of training. We are preparing for Australian conditions, and just like the pitches we will encounter there, our team management and groundsmen have prepared pitches here specifically according to those requirements. Our main focus is to start practicing based on the conditions there," Gul said.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has included three more pacers, namely Sameen Gul, Ali Shafique, and Muhammad Ali, to the camp.

Chief Selector Wahab Riaz had already announced the inclusion of seven additional players to join the training camp, when he revealed the 18-member Test squad for Australia series. Those players include Arshad Iqbal, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usama Mir, and Usman Qadir.

However, fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani is declared unfit bowl and PCB has made the decision to send Dahani to the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation, aiming for his swift recovery.

The board has also granted permission to former skipper Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmad, and Usman Qadir to attend Imam-ul-Haq's wedding after today’s practice. However, these three cricketers will take part in the training session tomorrow.

Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Australia tour schedule:

Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra

1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium

2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)