The Pakistan cricket team’s Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign did not go as planned. With only four wins in nine matches, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan side finished the tournament on a disappointing note. The Pakistan Cricket Board was reportedly not satisfied with Babar Azam’s captaincy, and the star batter faced heavy criticism from former Pakistan cricket team players.
Reacting to the criticism ahead of Pakistan’s final round-robin stage match against England, Babar Azam responded sharply, saying, “It’s very easy to give opinion on TV. If someone wishes to offer advice, they are welcome to call me directly, my number is known to everyone.”
However, this response did not sit well with former Pakistan cricket team players Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi. “That response wasn’t needed at all. Just focus on playing well. Perform in a way that no one has to call you,” Shahid Afridi was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan pace great Wasim Akram echoed a similar sentiment, stating, “If you do well, everything goes fine. But if you don’t, then you have to be answerable to people and the press. And don’t worry about what people say, you need to be immune to this,” according to the report.
Meanwhile, former cricketers Waqar Younis, Aqib Javed, and Shahid Afridi are being considered for important posts in the Pakistan Board and team set-up after the World Cup, as per a report by news agency PTI. The names of Younis Khan and Azhar Ali are also being discussed for potential new appointments as the interim arrangement comes to an end.
The Zaka Ashraf-led 12-member committee, overseeing the PCB, has received a three-month extension which will end in February next year.
A PCB insider mentioned that key positions, including chief selector, Director of cricket, and coaching staff of the national side, will be open for appointments after the World Cup as the Pakistan squad gears up to head to Australia and New Zealand.
“After the World Cup, since the Pakistan squad has to leave for Australia and New Zealand, Zaka Ashraf, who heads the cricket management committee running the Pakistan Cricket Board affairs, has already started discussing possible plans and appointments for the future,” the insider noted.
Additionally, the source revealed that the possibility of Shoaib Malik taking on the role of captain or coach of the national T20 side is being considered.
With PTI inputs
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