Babar Azam mulls 'legal action' over leaked WhatsApp chat

Last month, skipper's chat with PCB COO Salman Naseer was aired on private TV channel

By
Sohail Imran
Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam fields during the 2023 ICC Men´s Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14, 2023. — AFP
Pakistan´s captain Babar Azam fields during the 2023 ICC Men´s Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14, 2023. — AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan captain Babar Azam has sought legal opinions over his leaked WhatsApp chat with a senior cricket board official, sources told Geo News Wednesday.

Last month, a controversy arose after an alleged "private" WhatsApp chat between Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and a senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official was aired live on local TV.

The chat showed text messages exchanged between the duo where the skipper denied calling PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf when asked about the rumours that he was trying to call the board's chief with the latter answering his calls.

The leaked conversation — between Babar and PCB's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer — lent credence to the rumours that senior management of the PCB was ignoring the skipper's messages.

The sources said that the Green Shirts skipper intends to take relevant legal action over his private chat being leaked on TV and weighing his options in this regard.

The right-hand batter indulged in consultations — over taking legal action — prior to his meeting with the PCB head at Lahore's National Cricket Academy (NCA), sources added.

Furthermore, the 29-year-old has completed his consultations with his inner circle regarding captaincy of the national side.

According to the sources, Babar is not in favour of retaining captaincy for any one format and is likely to step down from the captaincy of all three formats if he is made the national side's skipper for one format.

The right-hand batter, who currently leads the team in all three formats, has been under scrutiny for Pakistan's disappointing World Cup run and early elimination from the mega-event with the Men in Green failing to make it to the semi-finals in the ongoing World Cup, courtesy of their below-par performance in all three departments — batting, bowling, and fielding.

It is to be noted that he was appointed white-ball captain in 2019 and as Test skipper in 2021.

With regards to who will replace him as skipper, Shan Masood is a strong candidate for the captain's slot in the upcoming Test series against Australia and Shaheen Shah Afridi for the T20I series in New Zealand, sources said.

Shaheen might also lead the Green Shirts in next year's T20 World Cup, the sources added.