Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik talked about the controversy surrounding skipper Babar Azam, saying that he should step down as the team's captain voluntarily.
"Babar Azam is a great batter but we do injustice by putting his leadership qualities and batting ability on the same scale," Malik said while speaking on the Geo News programme "Score".
His comments came amid mixed opinions regarding the 28-year-old batter's leadership qualities. Malik said that it was a culture in Pakistan to expect immediate results.
The former skipper said that it used to be 20 to 25 years ago when one player would win the match with his individual performance but today it was not the same as four to five performing players are required in the team for success.
The 41-year-old cricketer said that if he was in Babar's place, he would have distanced himself from the leadership role and concentrated on his batting. He then suggested those who were close to Babar advise him to quit captaincy.
"This will help Babar Azam make more records on an international level as the pressure on him will be limited to his batting," Malik said.
He further stated that the national side skipper's captaincy still required improvement and it would take a lot of time to mature.
Last month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named Shadab Khan as the stand-in captain for the three-match T20 series against Afghanistan giving rest to senior players including skipper Babar Azam.
The move gave rise to speculations that the star batter may lose captaincy in one format and the board is testing players for the leadership role.
However, the board's Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi cleared the air about the skipper's role in the team, announcing that Babar Azam will continue to perform his duties as the captain and urged people to support him.
Later, he said that the future of Babar's captaincy will be decided by the selections committee and Mickey Arthur, who is set to become the national team director.
"For now, we have retained Babar as a captain because he is our main player. His captaincy is often discussed in media, we have nothing to do with it," the PCB head said.
He mentioned consulting Arthur on the matter who suggested letting Babar continue.