Babar Azam should quit captaincy and focus on his batting: Ex-Pakistan players | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Prominent former Pakistani cricketers, including Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, and Abdul Razzaq, are of the opinion that captain Babar Azam should relinquish his leadership role and focus on his individual game after Pakistan’s disappointing World Cup campaign.
The team’s failure to qualify for the semifinals, with five defeats in nine matches, has raised concerns about Babar’s leadership capabilities.These cricket stalwarts believe that Babar has had sufficient opportunities as captain but has not been able to deliver the desired results.
“I am not against Babar but he has to decide after looking at his performances as a player and captain whether he can continue to take the pressure of both,” said Malik during a reception in Karachi on Monday.
“I think we need Babar more as a player. As a captain, he has got his chances to show his worth. Unfortunately, he didn’t come through,” he added.
Razzaq emphasised that Babar has been in the captaincy role since late 2019, and he believes that four years is a significant period to assess someone’s capabilities as a leader.
Razzaq’s perspective suggests a critical evaluation of Babar’s leadership tenure and the need for a reassessment of the captaincy role based on the team’s performance during this timeframe.
“I have always said this, if you are honest and sincere in your decisions as captain, things will work out accordingly. Unfortunately, he has made some wrong calls and that is the reason for our poor performance in the World Cup,” he said.
Akmal felt that not everyone can be a leader and also the team’s batting mainstay.
“He has to make up his mind. What the Pakistan Cricket Board decides is something different. But he has to realise that captaining the team and being the main batsman is not everyone’s cup of tea.”
“I think we need to have separate captains for red and white-ball formats,” he added.
Younis Khan, the former captain who led Pakistan to victory in the T20 World Cup in England in 2009, expressed optimism that the Pakistani team has the potential to improve with some fine-tuning.
“I don’t think there is a need for any massive changes; just a little fine-tuning and shuffling is required. And, yes, we have to work on finding one or two quality spinners. But this is not a bad team, and its performance in the World Cup is not a reflection of its worth,” he said.
Rashid Latif stated that the blame for the team’s performance should also be attributed to the PCB chairman.
“It happened in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. Why should only the captain be changed? What about the board chairman? Does he not have any responsibility?”
“First, the PCB has to put its house in order, then look at the team issues. I still say we didn’t play well in the World Cup, but if we have two good spinners, this same team will perform differently,” he said.
Shahid Afridi said a system has to be created to groom players to handle the pressure of big events.
“I thought our players didn’t cope well with the pressure in some matches,” he said, before adding that Babar should continue as captain for the upcoming tour of Australia in December.
(With PTI inputs)

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