Simon Helmot, the head coach of the Colombo Strikers, has said that Babar Azam wanted Niroshan Dickwella as the captain of the Colombo Strikers during the ongoing Lankan Premier League (LPL).

“Babar wanted Dickwella as the captain, and it was a very, very simple process for us after that,” he told Wisden India.

Bowling coach of Colombo Strikers Chaminda Vaas had said in an earlier interview that the Pakistan skipper preferred to focus solely on his batting, a decision that the team management respected.

Since Babar did not wish to lead the Strikers, the management picked Dickwella as the captain — a move that drew criticism from the stylish batter’s fans.

In his conversation with Wisden, Helmot also said that Babar’s role extends beyond just playing cricket for the Strikers.

Helmot said the stylish batter’s influence encompasses emotional, mental, and technical aspects of the game.

“He [Babar] looks after people, whether it is emotionally, mentally or technically. He is a great asset to have as a support mechanism on the side,” Helmot said.

Dickwella also acknowledged the pivotal role that Babar plays in his captaincy journey.

“I’m enjoying captaincy but there’s a lot of responsibility. I have to put a lot of work into this: bat well, keep wickets and handle pressure,” Dickwella said.

“I’m enjoying my responsibility, especially in the middle with Babar. He’s helping me throughout the innings and we always make decisions together,” he added.

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