Former cricketer Shahid Afridi on Monday said that Green Shirts skipper Babar Azam has failed to prove himself as a leader and captain since he was given the all-important responsibility.
The Babar-led side, ranked fifth in the points table, were eliminated from the 2023 World Cup after losing five of their nine matches in the tournament, displaying a rather underwhelming performance in all three departments.
“As much of a star as Babar is as an individual player, it was my wish that he too be included in the top list [cricketing] captains,” Afridi said during an event in Karachi.
Flanked by a number of former cricketers including Misbah Ul Haq, Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmanl, Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul, Afridi said the 29-year-old batsman did not deliver as captain as expected of him.
“We thought it was three to four years old [of captaincy] Babar would have been groomed and proved himself as a captain and leader. But that didn’t happen, we [have] they saw many mistakes [from him],” said the former allrounder, stressing that the top batsman’s role as skipper was never threatened during this period.
“A leader must be stable and must know how to lead the team […] a leader does not have one or two [favourite] players,” he added, stressing that a leader must ensure consensus among his teammates.
“Younis Khan did not make unilateral decisions [during his captaincy]he took us all in stride and asked for advice [regarding his decisions]Afridi said while stressing that a leader must ensure consensus among his teammates.
“A leader must have such qualities,” he concluded.
Babar, the right-handed batsman, has come under scrutiny for Pakistan’s disappointing World Cup run and early exit from the major tournament.
Meanwhile, the team returned to the country in groups as another batch of players – including Agha Salman, Imam-ul-Haq and Shaheen Shah Afridi – already arrived in Lahore from Kolkata via Dubai, while some headed straight to their hometowns .
Babar should lead the Green Shirts tour of Australia
Expressing his views on who should lead the national side in the upcoming tour of Australia, Afridi said Babar should remain as captain for the much-awaited tour scheduled to start on December 14.
The former skipper was of the view that one has to know how to handle pressure in big events and cannot win in light of so many mistakes in cricket.
Afridi’s remarks come as the 29-year-old sought guidance on his future in consultation with former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja and people close to him, sources said.
Babar’s close aides are advising him to step down from the leadership in all three formats, with his inner circle suggesting he step down from the captain’s roles in both red-ball and white-ball cricket.
Earlier in the day, Morne Morkel resigned as the bowling coach of the Pakistan cricket team – becoming the first casualty of the national team’s elimination from the mega event.
The former South African fast bowler — who had signed a six-month contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Meanwhile, sources say that former cricketer Umar Gul, who has already served as the team’s bowling coach in the past, is expected to take up the role again.
“I have represented Pakistan in the past and will do so again if given the opportunity,” Gul said while stressing that the board has yet to contact him for the position.
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