The 29-year-old stepped down as captain of the Green Shirts on Wednesday after the team’s poor performance at the 2023 World Cup
Former Pakistan cricket team mentor Matthew Hayden has expressed his concern and expressed his disappointment over the removal of Babar Azam as the captain of the team.
Talking to you ESPNCricinfothe former Australian opener pointed to the widespread “structural” issues with Pakistan cricket and stressed that the problems marginalize the country’s sporting culture and context in general and are not limited to individual leadership.
The former cricketer also criticized Babar’s resignation as captain and said those in charge might have overlooked the right-handed batsman’s contributions as a player and skipper.
“Whoever did the numbers clearly wasn’t looking at them when it came to Babar’s performances as a non-captain and captain. He actually had much better numbers as a captain. We’re talking about an average of 50 plus. So he was a natural leader, a good choice. I think they’ve probably fired the gun a little early on leadership skills.”
He added: “He [Babar] he is still a young player, a dominant player in world cricket. So I’m a little disappointed and a little shocked at the reaction.”
Meanwhile, he highlighted the real reasons behind Pakistan’s underperformance in the 2023 World Cup.
“Naseem Shah was not there and Shaheen Afridi was not at his best […] Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz failed miserably [whereas] Fakhar Zaman never arrived, but when he did, it was too late,” he added.
It should be noted that Babar resigned as Greens captain in all three formats on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the board, on the same day, confirmed the appointment of Shan Masood as the Test captain of the Pakistan men’s cricket team, while Shaheen Shah Afridi was named as the T20I captain.
Shan has been named captain until the end of the 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship with his first assignment being the three-match Test series against Australia in Australia starting on December 14.
Left-arm pacer Shaheen will lead the national team in the T20I format and his first assignment as captain will be the five-match T20I series in New Zealand from January 12 to January 21.
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