Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis recently shared some advice for captain Babar Azam who has found himself amid heavy criticism. The veteran reckoned that Azam should ignore any outside distractions and concentrate on guiding his team well for the rest of the ongoing 2023 World Cup.
Pakistan’s dismal performance in the tournament has been a topic of discussion. The former champions lost four straight games after starting the season with two victories and the outcome has put Babar Azam under pressure.
There have been rumors back home that Babar Azam will be removed from captaincy following the World Cup if Pakistan is eliminated before reaching the semifinals. Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), met with Sarfaraz Ahmed following rumors that the former skipper will be the team’s new Test captain. Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi were also being considered for captaincy in white-ball formats.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq quit his role on Monday after the PCB launched an investigation into an alleged Conflict of Interest in team selection process. Inzamam’s alleged role in a private firm that is associated with a leading player-manager who handles the likes of Babar, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi has raised a conflict of interest.
“This is what you get when you play poor cricket. Critics will be jumping on you and that is what is happening. And I don’t think it is happening only in Pakistan. It’s all around, I mean in England. Bangladesh. So he’s going to live with it. You got to really be able to absorb that pressure and forget about what is going on back home because there are still three games to go,” Waqar told Star Sports on Tuesday as Pakistan faced Bangladesh in their 7th World Cup match in Kolkata.
“If you start thinking what what is happening back home, then you won’t be able to. You’ll sink. You’ll have more issues.
“So I think what he needs to do, I’m not sure what he’s thinking right now. What he needs to do is just close that chapter of what’s happening back home. Just focus on what is what is in front of you.”
Babar’s form with the bat has been poor as the World No. 1 ODI batter has failed to live up to expectations. Babar Azam has managed to score 207 runs in 6 matches in World Cup 2023 and he has been struggling to convert his fifties, 3 of them, into big scores.