Former Pakistan stalwarts Javed Miandad and Shoaib Akhtar on Saturday lashed out at the country’s cricket board for “forcing” Babar Azam to step down from captaincy and for not showing respect to the players after the World Cup debacle.
Miandad, regarded as one of Pakistan’s all-time best batters, also questioned some of the decisions taken by the management committee running the sport in the country, including the appointment of Muhammad Hafeez as team director and Wahab Riaz as chief selector. “There was no need to remove Babar from the captaincy. They have acted in haste and in the process also shown no respect for a player like Babar,” Miandad told PTI in an interview.
Miandad said Babar remained the future of Pakistan cricket and he had been badly treated by the Board.
“Didn’t other teams lose in the World Cup or perform badly? Are their captains being treated the way Babar has been treated?” Minadad asked.
He noted that the haphazard decisions taken by the PCB would only harm Pakistan cricket in the long run.
“The board played a big role in disturbing the team during the World Cup with its games on the sidelines and the correct thing would have been to stick with Babar and give him more team as he is our best player,” the former great said.
Miandad wondered how the Pakistan dressing room would now be after the appointment of Riaz and Hafeez in their respective posts. Both played in the last PSL and Babar was Riaz’s captain in the Peshawar franchise.
“I don’t understand the logic behind appointing just retired or junior players as director Pakistan team, head coach or chief selectors. What is this Board doing? “In a country where there are so many respected and senior players, how can they appoint Muhammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir.” Miandad also felt that Babar was a very fine batsman and he just needed to fine tune himself.
“There are some mistakes he is making in his stance and at the crease which can be sorted out and he will be scoring big runs again. If ever he needs my help I am there for him.
“He can always ask me to spend time with him in the nets. But if anyone doesn’t want to use our experience that is up to him.” Akhtar was also upset at Babar stepping down as captain.
“Babar is our best player and when you show faith with him for 3-4 years, give him another year or so I am sure he will become a better captain. But this is not the right time to force him out as skipper,” said the former fast bowler.
Akhrat lamented at the way the Board had treated Babar throughout the World Cup.
“They put so much pressure on him it was unreal.”
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