Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan’s former pacer slammed the International Cricket Council (ICC) for not including a single Pakistan player in their T20I team of the decade, announced on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Shoaib Akhtar launched an attack on the global parent body of cricket as he termed their team of the decade an IPL XI instead of being a world cricket team.
Shoaib Akhtar: ICC Announced An IPL XI Since They Didn’t Pick A Single Player From Pakistan
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam wasn’t included in the T20I team of the decade despite his average of 50.93 in 44 T20Is where he amassed 1681 runs.
Pakistan’s retired player pacer Umar Gul heads all-time bowling T20I charts while Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan are also among top 10 in all-time bowling charts. Shahid Afridi is 2nd in all-time all-rounder’s chart too among Pakistan cricketers.
“They did not pick a single player from Pakistan in the team. We don’t need your (ICC) T20I Team of the Decade because you announced the IPL team, not a world cricket team,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his official YouTube channel.
The former Pakistan speedster also cited the current T20I rankings indicating that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam should have been included in the T20I team of the decade.
“I think ICC forgot that Pakistan is also a member of ICC and they also play T20I cricket. They did not pick Babar Azam, who is currently the number one batsman in the ICC T20I rankings.”
Babar Azam is 2nd in T20I rankings after Dawid Malan of England. Babar Azam of Pakistan has 820 points after Dawid Malan who has 915 points.
Shoaib Akhtar: ICC Only Thinks About Money, Sponsorship And TV Rights
The veteran pacer Shoaib Akhtar further openly criticized ICC claiming that the organization is ruining the money game. Shoaib Akhtar felt that it’s embarrassing that they ignored Pakistan skipper Babar Azam who has high averages for Pakistan in T20Is.
“ICC only thinks about money, sponsorships and TV rights. They introduced two new balls and three powerplays (in the ODI cricket). Where is Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, big five of West Indies, Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis)? Where are the world’s fastest bowlers and leg-spinners? They went away because ICC commercialized and materialized cricket so much and allowed ten leagues to earn more revenue,” Akhtar said.
“They just want two World Cups in three years and leagues. ….There is a big difference between today’s cricket and in 70’s cricket. If there is no Sachin vs Shoaib then what’s the point of watching cricket? There is no big player than Babar Azam in T20I.
“He is a top-scorer for Pakistan and his averages show what he has done for the country, even in comparison with Virat Kohli. It is so embarrassing and I’m sure after this video they will think that they have to announce the World Team of the Decade, not the IPL team,” Sohaib Akhtar concluded.
Earlier in the day, ICC included four Indians Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, and Jasprit Bumrah in its T20I Team of the Decade. Wicket-keeper MS Dhoni has also been named as the skipper of the ICC’s T20I Team of the Decade. In the team, four players are from India, two are from Australia, two from West Indies, one each from Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Afghanistan.
In fact, no player from Pakistan was picked in ODI and Test team of the decade too which has ignited a controversy.
ICC’s T20I Team of the Decade: Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (c), Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga.