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'He Is Playing On Friendship Quota' Usman Qadir Shuts Babar Azam's Critiques

Usman Qadir talking to media during practice [X.com]Usman Qadir talking to media during practice [X.com]

Pakistan’s leg-spinner Usman Qadir is eager to return to the national team, expressing his desire to play both white-ball cricket and Tests. 

Qadir was part of Pakistan’s squad for the T20 World Cup 2022 but had to be replaced due to an injury sustained during the seven-match T20I series against England at home. 

His national team debut came in 2020, and since then, he has participated in 25 T20Is and one ODI. His last major assignment was the 2023 Asian Games, after which he faced frequent injuries and a performance slump, leading to his exclusion from the team.

After more than a year and a half on the sidelines, Qadir is now training with the team in the ongoing fitness test. During a media interaction, he expressed his determination to return to the national team. 

I want to play Test as well as white-ball cricket: Qadir

“The fitness camp is going really well, and the boys are working hard,” Qadir said. “My performance in the domestic season was fine, and I’m enjoying the intra-squad matches. I want to play Test as well as white-ball cricket. Playing in first-class cricket would be helpful, and my job is to perform wherever I get the chance.”

Qadir also revealed that he is working on his power-hitting in the nets. “I’m practicing with the bat, focusing on power-hitting,” he added. 

The 30-year-old has played 25 T20Is and one ODI for Pakistan, was last seen in action against Bangladesh in October 2022 and has not played since.

Addressing criticism, he said,“It is not my job to say that Shadab [Khan] did not perform. Whichever player you don’t like, you say that he is playing on friendship quota.”

Shadab Khan did not live up to the billing in the T20 World Cup, where he managed to smash 44 runs in 3 innings at a strike rate of 117.50. However, he was rested against Canada in the middle of the tournament, due to his poor performance.