Reports: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam could relinquish his white-ball captaincy after CWC 2023

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has received a lot of criticism after his team has not been able to live up to its potential in the ODI World Cup 2023.

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Babar Azam
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Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Babar Azam is hailed as one of the best batters in modern-day cricket. However, there have been question marks regarding his captaincy skills for quite some time.

Prior to the ODI World Cup 2023, Babar and Co. had a disappointing Asia Cup campaign, where they finished at the bottom of the table in the Super-Four stage. However, the fans considered the debacle as an aberration and hoped for a solid performance in the World Cup. Pakistan started brightly with back-to-back wins but a losing streak of four matches derailed their momentum.

Two convincing wins against Bangladesh and New Zealand brought them back into contention for a semi-final berth. However, they will have to beat England by a massive margin in their last game to progress to the knockouts. Babar has received flak from Pakistani fans as well as former cricketers.

The journalists have also asked him some tough questions. Well-placed sources revealed to Geo News on Friday, that the 29-year-old might relinquish white-ball captaincy after returning from India. It was revealed that Babar has been having conversations about his captaincy future with former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Ramiz Raja, who is also in India, doing commentary duties. It is understood that people close to Babar have advised him to quit captaincy of all three formats.

Pakistan face England in match 44 of the ODI World Cup 2023 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Saturday, November 11. The talismanic batter was asked about his future as captain of the 'Men in Green' in the pre-match press conference. He said that he would come to a decision after the game against the defending champions.

"About the captaincy, as I said, once we go back to Pakistan or after this match, we will see what happens. But right now, I am not focusing on this; my focus is on the next match," Babar said.

Babar looked depressed & sounded frustrated: Ramiz Raja

Babar Azam and Ramiz Raja had an impromptu meeting on the eve of the Pakistan-England clash at the iconic Eden Gardens. Ramiz said that Babar was depressed and frustrated with Pakistan's dismal performance in the ongoing edition of the World Cup.

“It was not a nominated meeting. I was doing a show for the ICC at the nets. It was a meeting by chance. There were no specific plans for this meeting with Babar," the 61-year-old told SUNO News.

"Babar looked depressed & sounded frustrated because Pakistan have failed to qualify for the semifinal of the World Cup. Pakistani players have felt the reaction from back home. PCB and journalists play an important role but majority play negative role. It is difficult to cope up in the social media era. In fact some journalists on agenda attack players on city basis which has damaged Pakistan Cricket a lot. We are living with a tribal mindset," he added.

Ramiz lauded Babar for being calm and composed while answering some stern questions in the press conference. He also hailed the Pakistan skipper for showing ample calmness and maturity while answering some tough questions darted at him. Interestingly enough, Ramiz Raja further said that had he been in place of Azam, he would have rather replied in a vicious manner rather than answering questions at this stage of the World Cup and the way Babar Azam kept cool and went about it.

“Babar is a mature captain with a good temperament who handles his anger very well. Pakistan Cricket Team is losing and people passing comments is unbearable. If I was in place of Babar, I would’ve given harsh answers in press-conference. I think as a critic we need to introspect,” said Ramiz.

“Pakistan Cricket has no system like India or Australia who have a great backup talent. We are bound to utilise current bunch of players carefully. There is no need of drastic changes. Pakistan Cricket needs time to move forward. I felt bad after talking to him,” he said.

Also Check: ODI World Cup 2023 Points Table

Ramiz was also asked if Babar had discussed his captaincy future with him. The former World Cup winner confirmed that there was a chat but did not wish to reveal the details.

“Babar shared with me but this was a private conversation between us and I don’t want to make it public,” Ramiz concluded.

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