Shahid Afridi blasts Babar for 'not supporting Shaheen...': 'Even selectors said he doesn't know how to do captaincy' | Crickit
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Shahid Afridi blasts Babar for 'not supporting Shaheen...': 'Even selectors said he doesn't know how to do captaincy'

Jun 15, 2024 01:22 PM IST

This was the first time Pakistan suffered a group-stage exit under Babar Azam in T20 World Cups, having reached the semis in 2021 and the final in 2022.

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Friday lashed out at incumbent skipper Babar Azam for accepting the captaincy role for the T20 World Cup after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) removed Shaheen Afridi from the position. Shahid's comment came after Pakistan incurred a group-stage exit in the 2024 T20 World Cup after the match between the USA and Ireland was washed out due to rain in Florida.

Shahid Afridi has his say on PCB's captaincy stance before the T20 World Cup
Shahid Afridi has his say on PCB's captaincy stance before the T20 World Cup

PCB removed Babar from white-ball captaincy last December after Pakistan failed to make the semifinals in the 2023 ODI World Cup. Shaheen was named as the new skipper of T20Is. However, the board reversed the decision just weeks ahead of the T20 World Cup after Pakistan's unsuccessful T20I campaign against New Zealand in January, followed by Shaheen's horror captaincy show in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Shahid reckoned that Babar should have declined the offer from PCB chief Moshin Naqvi to lead Pakistan and supported Shaheen. He felt that it would have set a remarkable example. However, the legendary all-rounder refused to blame Babar alone for the decision, as he highlighted that some of the selectors themselves had questioned his captaincy abilities after the 2023 ODI World Cup show.

“If the decision on Shaheen’s captaincy had been made and you [PCB] had stated that he will remain the captain till the [T20] World Cup, then I think Babar [Azam] should have supported Shaheen there and should have said that 'no, if you have made him [Shaheen] the captain, then we are ready to play under his captaincy because Shaheen has been playing with me for a long time. If he is made captain and the selection committee has made him the captain, then yes I will support him and play under his captaincy'. This is the stance Babar should’ve taken. Babar’s respect would’ve increased greatly that he has set an example with a remarkable decision," Afridi said.

"But this was not entirely the fault of Babar because some of the blame lies with the selection committee too since some of the selectors on record said that Babar doesn't know how to do captaincy."

This was the first time Pakistan suffered a group-stage exit under Babar in a T20 World Cup edition, having reached the semis in 2021 and the final in 2022. In the ongoing edition, they were stunned by the USA via Super Over before crumbling in the chase against India.

Pakistan, who beat Canada on Tuesday, will play their final group game on Sunday against Ireland in Florida.

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