Pressure continues to rise for Babar Azam as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Zaka Ashraf met former cricketers to discuss a way forward for the team on Tuesday, October 24. Pakistani skipper is facing a heat like never before after the team’s shocking eight-wicket defeat against Afghanistan on Monday.
Babar is getting lambasted for his captaincy at Chennai’s Chepauk Stadium as he failed to defend 282 runs. Afghanistan managed to record their first-ever ODI win over Pakistan and also chased down the biggest total in the tournament’s history.
Former cricketers and pundits are strongly expressing their views on Babar Azam’s leadership skills and fans are demanding a new skipper to lead the team in future. Pakistan’s legendary bowler Aaqib Javed also agreed with fans’ opinion to strip Babar from the captaincy role and suggested Shaheen Afridi as a replacement after the team’s defeat against neighbours.
“Shaheen is the best bet for the future of Pakistan cricket. Babar has failed to prove himself as an able captain in white-ball formats,” Aaqib Javed said in a TV show after the Afghanistan game.
Aaqib was one of the former stars who got a visit from Zaka Ashraf on Tuesday. The PCB head also met former captains Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf to discuss the team’s strategy in the future.
“These players have served Pakistan at the highest stage and have a treasure of experience under their belts,” Ashraf said in a press conference after meeting former stalwarts. “We hope to utilise their expertise to help ensure our players are developed well in all aspects of the game. In this way, we hope we can produce players in all departments of the game that can serve Pakistan in the future.”
Reports of Babar losing captaincy even if Pakistan secure a semi-final spot in the World Cup are also emerging in Pakistan media.
“Only if Pakistan can stage a miracle and win all their remaining matches to qualify for the semi-finals of this World Cup does Babar stand any chance of surviving as captain and even then he might be relegated to skipper in just the red ball format,” a source told PTI. “It is over for Babar because he has been given unbridled power and authority as captain and more importantly he has always had players of his choice in the team.”
Inputs from PTI