Imam-ul Haq defends Babar Azam amid Ahmed Shehzad's criticism

Pakistan squad's captain receives bashing from veteran Shehzad over performance in T20 World Cup

Sports Desk
Babar Azam, Imam-ul Haq gesture for a photograph. — Instagram/@imamulhaqofficial/File

Pakistan squad’s skipper Babar Azam was defended by cricketer Imam-ul Haq after he got bashed by veteran Ahmed Shehzad for his “unimpressive” performance during the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

Imam, who is also one of the panelists in Haarna Mana Hai, a Geo News show, alongside cricket veterans Shehzad and Imran Nazir, put forward the idea that the element of respect should not be ignored while commenting on the performance of the team.

"He’s your captain, you don’t want to consider him as a captain it’s fine. The world has made him the king, you haven’t," said Imam.

Imam emphasised that Babar should be respected for his services for the team and the fact that he has played 250 international matches.

Imam maintained that Babar’s statistics from the last 20 matches should not overshadow his statistics over the last 250 matches while denying to justify the lack of performance by the Pakistan’s captain. Moreover, he stressed on respecting his contribution.

"Is there anyone who have been the number one in Pakistan’s ODI ranking as well as in the T20I," said the batter.

He added: "All of us have played for Pakistan and all of us have the right to criticise. None of us are satisfied with the team’s performance against India, but remember that the element of respect should not be ignored."

Over the criticism by Ahmed who termed Babar a "fake king", the left-handed batter expressed his opinion, comparing his own statistics with him during the show on Wednesday.

"I feel I could've done better than those stats. But your (Babar's) stats are worse than mine... You've faced 205 balls in powerplays in T20 World Cups, but you haven't managed to hit one six!" said the veteran.

Ahmed added while criticising the Pakistan captain: "You destroyed the entire domestic structure. You sacrificed good performers in domestic cricket to adjust your friends in the team."

Imam further added that Babar is not concerned with all the criticism he is receiving and does not have time to retaliate over it.

“We are here to talk about cricket on Geo News, I’m not interested in discussing Babar only, there are more things to discuss," said the cricketer, urging fellow athletes to respect everyone regardless of their position in the team.