Babar Azam is given enough chances to improve as Pakistan captain, but…: Shahid Afridi

Babar Azam took many ‘bad’ decisions as Pakistan captain even before the T20 World Cup 2024, according to Shahid Afridi.

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
First Published16 Jun 2024, 04:02 PM IST
Pakistan's cricket team skipper Babar Azam has been given 'enough chances', said Shahid Afridi. (AP/PTI, FILE)
Pakistan’s cricket team skipper Babar Azam has been given ’enough chances’, said Shahid Afridi. (AP/PTI, FILE)(AP/PTI, FILE)

Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has commented on Babar Azam’s captaincy. His comments came after Pakistan’s first-round exit from the T20 World Cup 2024.

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“Babar took horrible decisions as a captain even before the T20 World Cup. There were many matches,” he said on his YouTube channel. 

“Coming to the World Cup, he should not have sent Iftikhar (Ahmed) to face the bowler in the Super Over (against the United States). He should have been at the non-striker’s end. The captain takes all these decisions,” he said.

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“We consider Azam Khan a powerful hitter. But, Shadab Khan was sent in the Super Over,” the former Pakistan captain added.

‘Grouping’ in Pakistan team

PTI has reported while citing Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sources that the team is suffering from “grouping”. It has been alleged that there are three groups in the team, one led by Babar and the other two by Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan.

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"There are three groups in the team, one led by Babar Azam, the second one by Shaheen Shaheen Afridi and the third one by Muhammad Rizwan. Add to this mix the return of seniors like Muhammad Aamir and Imad Wasim, and the recipe was ready for a World Cup disaster," PTI quoted the source as saying.

"The return of Imad and Amir added to the confusion as it was difficult for Babar to get any worthwhile performances from both of them as they had not played top-level domestic or international cricket for a long while now except in franchise-based leagues,” the source added.

Also Read: ‘No one is supporting them’: Mohammad Kaif on Pakistan’s T20 World Cup performance

Afridi spoke about the “grouping” controversy in the Pakistan team.

According to Shahid Afridi, separate “groups” have always existed in the Pakistan team, but that has never affected players’ performances on the field. It never happened that certain players did not perform under a particular player’s captaincy.

‘Never been a player like Babar Azam’

“Babar has been unable to lead the team as he should have. Let me repeat this. There has never been a cricketer like Babar Azam in Pakistan. Pakistan have never had such a consistent player before,” Afridi said.

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“But, he has been given enough chances to become better as a captain. He hasn’t been able to do that. If he had not accepted captaincy, he would have enjoyed his cricket and his batting much more,” Afridi added.

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First Published:16 Jun 2024, 04:02 PM IST
HomeSportscricket newsBabar Azam is given enough chances to improve as Pakistan captain, but…: Shahid Afridi

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