Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Thursday became the youngest cricketer to be conferred with the country’s third-highest civilian award Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar was conferred with the award by Governor Baligh Ur Rehman at an investiture ceremony held at the Punjab Governor House as part of Pakistan Day celebrations.
With the conferment of the award, Babar has become the youngest cricketer to be awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz at the age of 28 for his outstanding achievements in the field of sports.
The skipper called it an “immense honour” to receives the award in the presence of his parrents.
“This award is for my parents, fans and the people of Pakistan,” he tweeted.
Previously, Babar’s predecessor Sarfaraz Ahmed held the record as the youngest cricketer to be awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
Sarfaraz, who led Pakistan to the Champions Trophy title in 2017, was conferred with the award by then Sindh governor Mohammad Zubair at the Governor House in Karachi in 2018.
Last year on August 14, the government announced that it will be conferring Babar with the country’s third-highest civilian honour.
Babar made his debut in international cricket in May 2015 against Zimbabwe. His performances eventually led debuts to T20Is and Tests in 2016.
In 47 Tests, Babar has scored 3,696 runs with an average of 48.63, while in 95 ODI’s Babar has scored 4,813 runs at an average of 59.41. In 99 T20Is, Babar has amassed 3,355 runs at an average of 41.41.
Babar, in his ongoing cricket career, has won multiple awards including ICC Men’s ODI Player of the Year, Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. Under his captaincy, Pakistan defeated India for the first time in a world cup match and also reached the finals of the last T20 world cup.
Apart from Babar and Sarfaraz other cricketers that have received the award include Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, and Shahid Afridi for their outstanding contributions.
While Mohammad Yousuf received the award in 2011, Saeed Ajmal in 2015, Inzamam ul Haq in 2005 and Javed Miandad in 1992.