'Chasing personal milestones destroyed Pakistan': Babar Azam, Shaheen, Rizwan's sacking demanded in scathing attack | Crickit
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'Chasing personal milestones destroyed Pakistan': Babar Azam, Shaheen, Rizwan's sacking demanded in scathing attack

Jun 15, 2024 01:39 PM IST

T20 World Cup 2024: Ahmed Shehzad launched another scathing attack against captain Babar Azam, some of the other senior players , the management and the PCB

Pakistan have been one of the most consistent teams in the T20 World Cup history, where they have at least made the semifinals in six of the nine editions, including a run to the final thrice and a championship title haul once (2009). The only blip happened in 2024, where they suffered a humiliating group-stage exit where they were stunned by the USA in their opener before succumbing to India in a thriller. While they did win against Canada earlier this week to boost their chances, but with the USA-Ireland tie being washed out due to rain in Florida, the co-hosts joined India as the two teams from Group A to make the Super Eight.

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam and Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan run between the wickets during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between Pakistan and Canada (AFP)
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam and Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan run between the wickets during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between Pakistan and Canada (AFP)

Following the heartbreaking news for Pakistan, veteran batter Ahmed Shehzad launched yet another scathing attack against not just captain Babar Azam, but also some of the senior players in the team, the management and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Shehzad, in fact, demanded the removal of Babar along with Mohammed Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf.

“For the past five years, Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammed Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman and Haris Rauf, they have played together and this lot has got enough opportunities but they have failed to deliver,” Shehzad said on ‘Haarna Mana Hai’ on Geo News.

Shehzad accused the team of lacking leadership, forming separate groups and chasing personal milestones, which he highlighted from Pakistan's match against Canada.

“The kind of groupings that are happening in the team… there is lack of leadership. They keep saying they’re learning from their mistakes. Aap kya seekh rahe hain? Against Canada, when you needed to up your run rate.. Rizwan scored the slowest fifty, Babar scored run-a-ball. There was no demons on that pitch,” he lashed out.

“The problem is that (players chasing) personal milestones have ruined Pakistan cricket. That’s why we’re in this situation right now. They haven’t learnt anything. There is no leadership in this team. You’re (Babar Azam) just a social media-generated king. You’ve had four to five years… You guys play politics, you guys don’t have the required fitness level. You have played your peak cricket and now your cricket is declining. You have not let anyone else come into the team. Till now, you have maintained friendships only,” he added.

The 32-year-old also slammed Mohsin Naqvi, the chief of PCB, for reinstating Babar as the skipper just weeks ahead of the T20 World Cup and for announcing Wahab Riaz as the selector.

“PCB chairman, who has joined two months ago, has already took two bad calls in his tenure so far. First, he reinstated Babar Azam as captain. It was the worst decision because he was given enough chances as captain. He was tried and tested. Then he picked Wahab Riaz as selector, who has handled things very unprofessionally in the past two months,” he said.

Shehzad, reiterating his earlier remark, demanded the removal of all the senior players, accusing them of playing politics in the Pakistan dressing room.

“Now people will come and scare the PCB chief that if he will remove 7-8 cricketers, then the team will lost its aura. But these are the guys, who are putting friendships over the country and if you remove only two or three from this lot then it would be injustice for them. Remove all of them,” he concluded.

Pakistan will play their final group game against Ireland on Sunday in Florida. Both the teams have been knocked out of the race to make the Super Eight.

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