A left-arm spinner with plenty of experience, Zulfiqar Babar had to wait more than ten years since his first-class debut to finally get a Test match. When he finally played against South Africa in the Test series in the UAE in 2013, he had already taken 309 first-class wickets at an average of 20.36.
Babar hails from Okara, a small town 85 miles away from Lahore, and is the first from the town to play for Pakistan in 65 years. The lack of top-class facilities, though, didn’t diminish his hunger or ambition. Despite not breaking through to the national team earlier, Babar made sure his name was always in the reckoning by consistently being among the wickets. In the 2009-10 Quaid-e-Azam tournament, he took 69 wickets at 16.42. A national call-up didn’t come about then, but the selectors couldn’t look away when he took 93 first-class wickets in 13 games in the 2012-13 season, at an average of 17.04. He sealed his case when he took 6 for 22 in a practice game between Pakistan Chief Ministers XI and Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman’s XI in October 2013.