Wahab Riaz responds to criticism of Babar Azam's English

March 31, 2023

"I believe you should know English but it is not a necessity," Wahab Riaz says

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Wahab Riaz (right) and Babar Azam (left) share a light moment during the toss of a PSL match — PCB/File

Wahab Riaz, a veteran cricketer and adviser to the Punjab chief minister on sports and youth affairs, believes that speaking English is not necessary for any captain.

During his latest interview, the veteran cricketer was asked about criticism related to Babar's English and communication skills.

"We are a complex nation. We always like the things of others. I understand that English is a widely spoken language but our national language is Urdu. If Babar or any other person speaks Urdu, I don't think there is an issue," he shared his point of view.

"I believe you should know English but it is not a necessity. You only need to have good communication skills be it in Urdu or English," he added.

Former Test cricketer Shoaib Akhtar criticised Babar on his speaking skills.

"I want to openly say that Babar Azam should be the biggest brand in Pakistan, but why hasn't he become the biggest brand in Pakistan? Because he can’t speak," he had said during a TV show.

"Cricket is one job, and handling media is another. If you can’t speak, I am sorry, but you won’t be able to express yourself on TV," he added.

The Pakistani skipper has often faced criticism of his communication skills while addressing the media. Meanwhile, his captaincy also remains under the knife more often.

Babar is currently the number one batter on ODIs. In T20Is, he is fourth and in Tests, he is fifth in the world.

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