Pakistan openers engage in heated debate over Babar Azam's captaincy

Ahmed Shehzad and Imam-ul-Haq were panelists on a show when they scrutinised Babar's captaincy.

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Ahmed Shehzad and Imam-ul-Haq
Ahmed Shehzad and Imam-ul-Haq. (Source - Twitter/X)

Pakistan openers Ahmed Shehzad and Imam-ul-Haq were recently engaged in a heated debate over the state of Pakistan cricket under the leadership of star batter Babar Azam. Pakistan are all set to kick off their T20 World Cup 2024 by taking on co-hosts the USA in the 11th game of the tournament on June 6. 

Speaking of Babar’s leadership, Ahmed Shehzad reflected on how the right-hander shows favouritism while picking players for the national side. Shehzad lambasted the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) for reinstating Babar as the skipper in white-ball format. 

"Speaking of Babar Azam, there is friendship. Look, he is carrying players from a long run. The players have been out of form for a long time. It doesn’t look good. If I count the number of matches, you’ll realize players don’t get that long run. If there were any other captain, he wouldn’t have carried players for 35-40 games. He should have thought about himself,” Ahmed Shehzad said on a T20 World Cup build-up show on Pakistani channel Geo TV.

Also Read: 'Who can do this' - Rashid Latif slams Pakistan team for hosting private dinner for fans amid T20 World Cup 

It is worth noting that Babar stepped down as Pakistan’s skipper across formats after his side failed to reach the knockout stages of the ODI World Cup 2023 in India. Shan Masood was named the Test captain, while Shaheen Afridi took over the T20I side. However, Afridi was removed as the skipper after just one series in charge, with Babar reinstated. 

Imam-ul-Haq came forward to point out how Pakistan performed in the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups and how Babar was removed as the skipper without his consent. He opined that choosing a player based on friendship is quite personal, and that is where the war of words began. 

Also Read: Who will win today’s T20 World Cup match between USA vs PAK?

“We understand that Imam is in a central contract, he is young. We spoke the same when we were at his age. I’m 34, sick and tired of things. We want things to be better,” Ahmed Shehzad said.

“I am in a central contract. I have been playing for the last 6-7 years but I promise you that when I’ll be 36, my stand will be the same. If someone has a problem, they can speak if they are 28 as well. Why don’t you say that?" Imam replied.

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