Fahad Babar to the time to answer a few questions from newyorkcricket.com, he was USA leading scorer with 247 runs in the recently held ICC WCL Div. 4 tournament which was recently held in Malaysia. Here is the full interview with the opening batsman.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Fahad Babar. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan and I represent United Cricket Club (Div. 1 Champions 2014 Midwest Cricket Conference, BPL Champions 30/30, 2013) in Chicago, Illinois. My sponsored Gear is PRO T20 (An American Cricket Brand).
What is the craziest thing you have done while playing cricket?
I would say the craziest stuff I did playing cricket was actually last year when I hit 278 runs in a BPL league game. It was one of the craziest things I have ever done in my cricketing life. I really never even thought I could hit a double century in a 30 overs game. I would definitely put that innings as one of the craziest thing a cricketer even can do on a cricket field!
Tell us about your training routines
Well I train 5 days a week. Since cricket is my profession, it requires a great amount of fitness. I work hard at the gym during the winter season in Chicago. Due to severe cold weather in Chicago, I go to the gym in winter and work on my core, legs, arms, back and shoulders. Monday is my arms and back day. Tuesday I work on my legs and core. Wednesday I work on my shoulders and go swimming. Thursday and Friday I do running, bicycling, the sauna and steam bath. In the summer I run outside three miles every other day, which is very important, and it helps improve my endurance and stamina. Whenever I have free time during the summer, I take my brothers out and go to a tennis court to do some knocking and batting drills.
Who is the toughest player you know?
The toughest cricketer I know that I want to mention is Najam Iqbal (Najmi) from my region. I met Najmi four years ago during practice net sessions. I love his attitude towards the game. He is one of the renowned all-rounders in our CER region. His team Pak Gymkhana is one of the toughest opponents to play against. Najmi is an outstanding off-spinner and stylish left-hand batsman. He was also the captain of our CER XI in the USACA nationals.
What’s your favorite wicket celebrating routine?
I just like to wave both hands like Shahid Afridi and I am a leg-spinner too, so it works!
Give us your view on the state of USA Cricket, and how to improve the game
I have always been following US cricket since my teenage years. From my eight years of experience playing in the US, I feel we need a lot of improvement in fitness as well, and there is also a need to be more professional in terms of our administration. We need to start building turf wickets in every region and play our cricket on turf wickets instead of on mats. Proper cricketing facilities should be made available, so that a player should not have any problem with regard to practice. As far as the coaching issue is concerned, I personally believe Robin Singh is a perfect coach for TEAM USA. The time he spends with us in the field and off the field was a great learning experience, both in Dubai and Malaysia. The most important thing I felt is that we the USA national players should play more as a team, and do fitness camps and training camps together. It will create much better team chemistry, and the captain would know each player and who is capable of what, under different situations. In my opinion, it would definitely benefit us in future tournaments.
Tell us something we don’t know about you
Like Japen Patel, I am also a guy who gives his first priority to cricket. I am currently sacrificing my education because of cricket, but I don’t regret it, because cricket has taught me a lot. I really want the USA national team to play the World Cup and all the biggest ICC tournaments. I know the only way to reach there is to work hard.
If cricket has taught you one thing, what is it?
Cricket has taught me self-belief, importance of commitment, discipline, knowing your limitations as a player and as a person. The game of cricket has taught me to never give up and to chase the dream with sincere honesty and dedication. Dreams do come true!
Can you cook?
What’s your biggest weakness?
I trust everyone.
Who is your favorite cricket commentator?
Do you collect anything?
What’s the best compliment you have ever received from a fellow cricketer?
A lot of time my teammates and friend have told me that my dedication and attitude towards the game is great.
What is the best cricket souvenir you have?
The best cricket souvenir I have is actually from a recent tour in Malaysia. It’s a Bermuda Cricket Flag, and on the back of the flag, I have the US team players’ autographs. Written at the top of the flag is 63 not out; the score I made against Bermuda in the last game we played.
Where is the best place in USA to play cricket?
I would say the best place to play cricket is Texas.
Who’s your all-time hero outside of cricket?
My all-time hero outside of cricket is my dad.
What’s your favorite shot?
A straight drive
Would you rather take a five-wicket haul or score a fifty?
Score a hundred, not even fifty.
Which cricketer in the world would you pay to watch?
Describe you in three words?
Hardworking, self-believer and honest.
Have you got any superstitions?
I wear the same shirt and trouser (uniform) in all the games when I am on tour.
Are you handy at any other sports?
Yes, billiards and table tennis.