'Few players are not welcome in that side': Pakistan star's explosive rant | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Few players are not welcome in that side': Pakistan star namedrops Usama Mir in explosive rant at Babar Azam's team

Oct 26, 2023 10:47 AM IST

Pakistan faced their third-successive loss in the 2023 World Cup on Monday, enduring an 8-wicket defeat to Afghanistan.

Pakistan faced a shock defeat at the hands of Afghanistan in the 2023 World Cup group stage earlier this week, leading them to the brink of elimination in the tournament. With two wins in five matches and a negative Net Run Rate (NRR), Babar Azam's men now face a herculean task of making a comeback – more importantly, two of their next oppositions, South Africa and New Zealand, are sitting comfortably in top-4 and have been performing strongly so far.

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan talk during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and Afghanistan(AP)
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan talk during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and Afghanistan(AP)

Following three successive losses in the tournament, Pakistan players are facing severe criticism and Babar Azam, the side's captain, is drawing flak from a host of senior cricketers back home. Some of Babar's captaincy decisions drew certain attention, and his defensive tactics against Afghanistan during the latter's 283-run chase baffled many. But now, Pakistan's star batter Ahmed Shehzad has made a rather explosive claim on the dressing room bonding in Pakistan team.

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Also read: 'We keep waiting for miracles': Afridi tears into Babar Azam for captaincy calls in Pakistan's 2023 World Cup campaign

Shehzad has claimed that select Pakistan stars receive preferential treatment, while the others are exposed in difficult situations on the field with an aim to later drop them from the XI. Shehzad made his claim during his appearance on ARY News, a Pakistan news channel.

“I've talked to some players. Few players are not welcome in the dressing room. They aren't given the same level of treatment and confidence as some others. They try to keep certain players in the team and drop the others. Tayyab Tahir was brought in, he wasn't welcome, and was excluded. Saud Shakeel was brought in based on his Test performances. Usama Mir, we had been saying that give him chances before the World Cup to give him confidence... see, Usama is a wrist-spinner. He's more effective when the ball is old. And he is brought in the 11th over. They're trying to save certain players and expose these players instead,” Shehzad revealed.

“We had been saying from quite some time that bring in Abrar Ahmad, mystery spinner is needed. These are our colleagues, these are our friends, and these are not welcome,” said the batter further.

Many former players tore into captain Babar Azam and other players for their poor performance in the tournament. Be it Wasim Akram, Misbah ul Haq, Ramiz Raja, Rashid Latif, Muhammad Hafeez, Aaqib Javed, Shoaib Malik, Moin Khan or Shoaib Akhtar, Babar was blamed for the run of Pakistan’s defeats against India, Australia and Afghanistan.

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