The veterans Shoaib Akhtar and Rashid Latif have thrashed Pakistan’s newly appointed ODI captain Babar Azam for his visionless press-conference. The youngster attended his first-ever virtual conference after taking the captaincy role.
After Sarfaraz Ahmed was dropped from the team, Babar was given the captaincy of the T20I team in 2019. The responsible job hasn’t affected his performance in the shortest format as he still holds the position of No.1 Twenty20 International batsman. In May, as PCB announced the central contract, Babar was also claimed as the ODI captain.
Earlier this week, he attended the press conference, where he mentioned that he is working on English speaking skills. His reply came after a former Pakistan cricketer Tanvir Ahmed asked him to improve his communication skills in English.
“I’m a cricketer, my job is to play cricket. I am not a ‘gora,’ who knows English completely. Yes, I am working on it, but you learn these things over a period of time, you can’t just suddenly learn it,” Babar Azam said after taking up ODI captaincy.
Shoaib Akhtar criticises Babar Azam’s statement:
Former Pakistani cricketer Akhtar didn’t like Babar’s presser and took a dig at his personality. He said that he needs to build his overall image like former captain Imran Khan. According to him, the 25-year-old Babar needs to work on his communication skills, his personality, his captaincy, and his fitness.
“Babar Azam wants to be a captain like Imran Khan but this does not mean that it will only be related to playing cricket. He needs to take a leaf out of PM Imran’s book with regards to personality as well. Please don’t speak about things which we already know from the past 10 years. We won’t buy this argument. Babar has to sharpen up his communication skills, his personality, ability to lead from the front, fitness level, etc. I think he has a lot to prove,” Akhtar added.
Rashid Latif also took a dig at Babar Azam:
Rashid had high expectations from Babar’s press meeting, but he got disappointed with the captain’s usual statement. As per him, Babar read a script that was given to him while he should have talked about future planning.
“When the captain is sitting in a press conference, he gives insight about his vision but this was clearly lacking,” said Latif. “Our captain is giving headlines about the language barrier and things we already know, like comparison with Virat Kohli. Babar should have made a strong statement rather than just following the script given to him. You have already showcased that your mental attitude and approach is not up to the mark,” Latif was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Babar Azam, who made the debut in 2015, has played 38 T20Is, 74 ODIs and 26 Test matches, scoring 1471, 3359 and 1850 runs respectively.