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'It's not healthy to talk about captaincy repeatedly when team is on tour': Salman Butt on Rizwan vs Babar Azam

Salman Butt said it is not healthy for Pakistan cricket if people continue to talk about a captaincy battle between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.
File image of Salman Butt.(Getty Images)
Published on Jul 01, 2021 09:22 AM IST

Former Pakistan opener Salman Butt urged the Pakistan players and cricket experts not to debate about captaincy by pitting Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan against each other. Rizwan’s name for Pakistan captain started doing the rounds after the wicketkeeper-batsman displayed consistent performance in all three formats and also led Multan Sultans to the PSL title.

Babar Azam, for his part, has not been disappointing by any means ever since he was named as the Pakistan captain for all three formats.

“It’s a good thing that your captain and vice-captain both are performing well. If you talk about captaincy one has a slight edge over the other. His body language is more like a captain’s but I won’t take his name now,” Butt said in his YouTube channel.

The former left-hander, however, said it is not healthy from Pakistan’s perspective as it can disturb the harmony of the team if both Rizwan and Babar start to think about captaincy.

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“But it’s not healthy to talk about captaincy repeatedly when your team is on a tour. If one match’s result doesn’t go your way then some players or experts start talking about captaincy is not good for the team. The T20 World Cup is just around the corner. These two are certain to play, they are Pakistan’s main players. These two players shouldn’t have the thinking that ‘I want to become the captain’ because it disturbs the harmony of a team. So I will urge all the experts to keep this in mind,” Butt added.

Rizwan, for his part, dismissed suggestions he was keen on captaincy in any format. The right-hander termed Azam as a "world-class skipper", and said he enjoyed the feeling of being considered a valuable player in the current side.

"I don't think about captaincy, because my job is to focus as a player," he said. "I have never been desperate for captaincy. I'm the vice-captain, and whenever the captain needs help, I am happy to do it. Babar is one of the leading captains right now, and if you look at our past series, he's made some brilliant decisions. Even if three or four players put our heads together, his clarity of thought rose above it all.

"I don't feel pressure this way, and I enjoy my importance to the team. I relish the fact I am considered one of the main players of the team."

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