It is not just his fault, I’ve heard that Babar Azam was crying after the defeat to Afghanistan
After a promising start to the 2023 World Cup with consecutive wins against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Pakistan faced a dramatic reversal of fortune, losing three consecutive matches to India, Australia, and most recently, Afghanistan. This string of defeats has placed their World Cup campaign in jeopardy, and the pressure on the team, especially captain Babar Azam, has intensified. Amid the mounting criticism and scrutiny, Babar Azam has reportedly been deeply affected by the recent loss to Afghanistan.
Pakistan dropped three straight games against India, Australia, and Afghanistan after opening the tournament with back-to-back victories over Netherlands and Sri Lanka. On Friday, they play South Africa in a critical encounter.
Following Pakistan’s first-ever ODI loss to Afghanistan at the ODI World Cup earlier this week, former batter Mohammad Yousuf has spoken out in favor of captain Babar Azam.
Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has expressed his support for Babar Azam, emphasizing that the captain alone should not bear the brunt of the team’s performance. Yousuf’s comments come after reports that Babar Azam was in tears following the shocking defeat to Afghanistan, marking Pakistan’s first-ever ODI loss to their neighbors in the World Cup. Speaking on Samaa TV, Yousuf said, “I’ve heard that Babar Azam was crying after the defeat to Afghanistan. It’s not just Babar’s fault, the entire team and management is also responsible. We are with Babar at this tough time, and the entire nation is with him.”
Yousuf’s empathetic stance highlights the need to consider the collective responsibility of the team and management rather than placing the blame solely on the captain’s shoulders. Babar Azam’s emotional reaction after the defeat underscores the immense pressure and expectations faced by the national team captain.
Notably, Babar Azam has faced significant criticism for his leadership and his individual batting performances in the World Cup, aside from two half-centuries in five matches. This has led to public discussions and debates about his capabilities and impact on the team. Former Pakistan captain and all-rounder Shahid Afridi also shared his perspective on the matter.
Afridi commented on Babar Azam’s captaincy, stating, “When you are not in the game [not focused], then these things [fielding issues] will happen. When you are trying to hide somewhere, when you are not thinking positively, I think that at times we are waiting for miracles, miracles don’t just happen. They happen with brave men who know how to fight.
It has happened in the past when I was the captain or Mohammad Yousuf was, when we used to run on the ground and support players, then the entire team used to charge up. When Inzamam would dive during fielding, then, believe me, we players used to feel ashamed that why are we not diving when the captain is. At the end of the day, everything comes right back to the captain.”
Afridi’s comments reflect the belief that a captain’s demeanor and performance on the field can significantly influence the team’s overall commitment and motivation. The captain’s role extends beyond just strategic decision-making; they serve as an inspiration and a focal point for the team.
As Pakistan prepares for a crucial encounter against South Africa, the team faces a pivotal moment in their World Cup journey. The earlier successes against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka have been overshadowed by the subsequent defeats. Pakistan currently holds a two-point lead over South Africa, making the upcoming match a must-win scenario.
In response to the increasing scrutiny and criticism directed at Babar Azam and the team management, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has issued a statement. The PCB has urged former players and the nation’s cricket fans to stand behind their team during these challenging times. They have emphasized that successes and defeats are an inherent part of the game, and it is essential to maintain a sense of perspective.
The statement from PCB reads, “Addressing the media scrutiny directed at captain Babar Azam and the team management, the board’s stance, echoing that of former cricketers, is that successes and defeats are part of the game. Captain Babar Azam and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq were given freedom and support in forming the squad for the ICC World Cup 2023.”
The PCB recognizes the emotions and sentiments of cricket fans following the team’s recent losses and highlights the need for continued support for Babar Azam and the entire Pakistan cricket team. They stress that decisions regarding the team’s future will be based on their performance in the World Cup.
As Pakistan faces South Africa in a crucial contest, the team will need to regroup, find their winning rhythm, and rediscover their confidence. The World Cup journey remains full of challenges and unpredictability, and it’s the resilience and unity of the team that will ultimately determine their fate in this marquee tournament. For now, the entire cricketing fraternity and fans await a triumphant comeback from Pakistan in the World Cup.