Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz has opened up about the heartwarming gesture displayed by Pakistan captain Babar Azam following his team’s historic win against Pakistan in the 2023 ODI World Cup. The win was Afghanistan’s first-ever against their arch-rivals in the format, and Gurbaz sought a souvenir from the dejected Pakistan captain.
“I can’t forget that moment,” Rahmanullah Gurbaz said in a recent interview. “We beat Pakistan and then I asked for his bat. Once he brought that, he was so disappointed which I can understand as a player. I can feel the pain of losing a game under so much pressure. And if I can remember, I got a little emotional. He is such a great player, one of the best captains.”
Gurbaz further revealed that Babar was deeply disappointed by the loss, even to the point of tears. Despite his own emotions, Babar controlled himself and generously presented his bat to the Afghan wicketkeeper.
“He was so disappointed that he was about to cry. I’ve never seen any player like that. Everyone was against him. But I salute Babar Bhai that he was so strong and just kept going. He never gave up and produced his best,” Rahmanullah Gurbaz said.
With the star player who has added flair and fire to Afghanistan’s batting line up 🏏
We were also joined by the down-to-earth Masood… pic.twitter.com/bn0y461HKI
— Momin Saqib (@mominsaqib) December 6, 2023
Rahmanullah Gurbaz explained that his younger brother is a huge fan of Babar and had requested the bat and a shirt as souvenirs. Gurbaz relayed his brother’s request to Babar, and the Pakistani captain readily agreed.
“My younger brother is a big fan of Babar Bhai. So he asked me for the shirt and the bat. So, I requested Babar Bhai for the same and he just gave it to me. He didn’t say no to me and I can never forget that. I would pray for him and his success,” Rahmanullah Gurbaz concluded.
This heartwarming story highlights the respect and sportsmanship that exist even in the midst of intense competition. Babar Azam’s gesture exemplifies the true spirit of cricket, demonstrating that even in defeat, one can be gracious and generous. Gurbaz’s admiration for Babar further underscores the unifying power of the sport, transcending national boundaries and fostering camaraderie between athletes.