Wednesday, November 15, 2023
With Babar Azam stepping down as the Pakistan team's captain, the cricketing fraternity including current and former players have praised the 29-year-old for his services which saw the team becoming the top-ranked side in the 50-over format.
On Wednesday, Babar resigned as the national side's captain in all three formats following months of criticism over the team's dismal performance first in the Asia Cup and then in the ongoing World Cup 2023.
Appointed as white-ball captain in 2019 and later Test skipper in 2020, the right-hand batter has been facing criticism over the team's early elimination from the mega-event due to a rather underwhelming performance in all three departments.
Reacting to Babar's resignation as skipper, his teammate and Pakistan team's wicket-keeper batsman Muhammad Rizwan took to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to laud the 29-year-old batter terming him as "one of the greatest batsmen Pakistan has ever seen".
"Kaptaaana, aap Dilo k Kaptaan ho" (Captain! You rule our hearts), Rizwan said.
Meanwhile, former Test captain Azhar Ali thanked the right-handed batsman for his efforts as captain.
Ex-allrounder Mohammad Hafeez also lauded Babar for his services as skipper and wished him future success.
"Thank you for your services as captain", Sohail Tanveer said.
"Thank You so Much for all your services for Pakistan as a Captain✨ And for taking Pakistan’s ODI team to the No.1 spot," former spinner Saeed Ajmal wrote.
Earlier in the day, Babar, following his meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf announced to step down as Pakistan's captain.
"Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It's a difficult decision but I feel it is [the] right time for this call," Babar said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.
"I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication," he noted.
Babar, despite being just 29 years old, has had an illustrious career, and he remained the top-ranked ODI batter for more than two years. The ex-skipper was the only batter to achieve the top three positions across all formats.
The batter said reaching the number 1 spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management.