Babar Azam and Co. castigated by ex-Pakistan star over holidaying in UK after early WC exit: 'You are being paid crores' | Crickit

Babar Azam and Co. castigated by ex-Pakistan star over holidaying in UK after early WC exit: 'You are being paid crores'

By, New Delhi
Jun 20, 2024 07:18 PM IST

The former Pakistan star questioned the cricket culture of the Babar Azam-led side after the World Cup exit.

Showing no mercy on Pakistani players after the premature exit of the Green Army, former Pakistan cricketer Atiq-uz-Zaman lashed out at Babar Azam's men for holidaying in the United Kingdom (UK). Runners-up in the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup, Babar's Pakistan side kickstarted their campaign with an embarrassing defeat at the hands of co-hosts United States of America (USA).

Pakistan's Babar Azam during the practice session (Reuters)
Pakistan's Babar Azam during the practice session (Reuters)

Former champions India handed Pakistan another heartbreaking defeat by winning the low-scoring thriller at New York. Finishing behind USA and Group A leaders India, Pakistan were dumped out of the T20 World Cup in the group stage. With Babar at the helm, Pakistan recorded wins over Ireland and Canada in the group stage of the T20 World Cup.

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In a video shared on social media, former Pakistani wicketkeeper-batter Atiq questioned the cricket culture at the Green Army camp. “You are creating such a drama. During our time, there used to be a coach and with him a manager -- the team was run like that," Atiq mentioned. "Ab aapke 17 log hain officials mein aur 17 players hain, suna hai ke aapne 60 kamre book karvaye hue they (you have 17 officials and 17 players; it's being said you booked 60 rooms). That's a joke! Have you gone there to play cricket or to holiday?," he continued in his tirade.

According to a report by Express Tribune, skipper Babar, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, and Imad Wasim opted to jet off to the United Kingdom for a holiday after the T20 World Cup. The star players wanted to spend some time with family and friends before returning to national duty. For the first time in the history of the T20 World Cup, Pakistan failed to clear the group stage of the ICC event.

"Why do you allow families in big events?...Begum, jaan nahi chhodti; aapne aadat bana di hai, begum ko saath le ke ghoomne ki aadat hai (you have made it a habit to travel with wife on tours). They go out in the evening and focus shifts from cricket. They focus on family, kids, wife...Takeaways pe khana kha rahe hote hain...aur wahan pe unki movieyan chal rahi hoti hain (they are eating at takeaway joints and are being captured on videos there)," Atiq added.

Pakistan will next face Bangladesh for a two-Test series at home in August. Head coach Gary Kirsten and assistant coach Azhar Mahmood have also left the Pakistani camp after the Green Army's early exit from the T20 World Cup. “Such a culture has been created in Pakistan cricket that nobody knows what is discipline...You have gone to play such a big event, where is your focus?...Can't you leave everything else and focus on cricket alone for two weeks? You are being paid crores annually,” Atiq concluded.

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