RAWALPINDI                   -           As per expectations, star batsman, Babar Azam stole the limelight here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Tuesday morning, when Pakistan team arrived for practice session, where sizable crowd was present to give resounding welcome to their heroes.

Rawalpindi is the focus of attraction as all eyes are set on historic Pindi Stadium, which will host Pakistan-Bangladesh first Test from February 7. Last year in December, Sri Lankan team visited Pakistan for two-Test match series and Pindi Stadium hosted first Test after more than 15 years gap. All the roads leading towards stadium were fully crowded with cricket enthusiast, who had gathered to have a glance of their heroes, and when the team’s bus crossed them, they started chanting ‘Pakistan ziandabad’ slogans and waving at the bus. A few of the national team players gave great gesture too, as they waved back to the fans.

As expected, Babar Azam, who had played his majority of cricket in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, entered the stadium, he went to different stands and replied fans’ slogans in the possible manner.

Sharing his views, Babar Azam said: “It was a great experience to receive such a rousing and warm welcome. When I was walking out to bat in the first Test against Sri Lanka, I really enjoyed my batting at this track from, where I had played majority of my cricket. The passion of crowd had motivated to give out my best. The year 2019 was excellent for my career, as I enjoyed huge success with both red and white balls and I am looking forward of repeating the same against Bangladesh.”

Addressing a press conference at Pindi Stadium, off spinner Bilal Asif said: “I am grateful to Almighty Allah that I once again got a chance of being in the national squad and if I get a place in the playing XI, I will try to perform well for my country.”

When asked about Pindi Stadium’s wicket, Bilal said: “Yes, Pindi Stadium wicket helps the pacers but it depends on team management, what combination they finalize. If given chance, I will try to give out my best. Weather is out of our control, but hopefully, it will be better and we will also do our best to win the first Test.”

About international cricket revival, Bilal said: “I am grateful to PCB high-ups for their efforts in bring international back to the country and credit also goes to our armed forces and government, who ensured the best security for the visiting sides, who returned home with pleasant memories.”

About his performance, Bilal said: “Obviously, when you are staging comeback after a long time, it takes some time to settle down. I had performed exceptionally in the first class seasons and was amongst top wicket-takers and helped my team in a great way. I am fully focussed on my batting as well and people will see a different Bilal Asif.”

There will be no practice session of hosts Pakistan and visitors Bangladesh as the first Test between both the sides will be played on February 7 at Pindi Cricket Stadium. As the weather is cloudy on Tuesday, there is also a chance of light drizzle, which might disturb the Test match, like witnessed against Sri Lanka in the last match at Pindi Stadium.