'Who was the Einstein behind' - Shoaib Akhtar's brutal take on Babar Azam's captaincy reappointment

Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's recent comments have added fuel to the fire, potentially aiming at cricket legend and former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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Shoaib Akhtar
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Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Shoaib Akhtar/YouTube)

Pakistan's cricket team has once again found itself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Their early exit from the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024 has sparked debates about team leadership and management decisions. Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's recent comments have added fuel to the fire, potentially aiming at cricket legend and former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Men in Green's hopes of lifting their second T20 World Cup title were extinguished before the tournament even reached the Super Eights stage. Losses to the USA and India, despite a consolation win against Canada and Ireland, sealed their fate. This failure followed a disappointing performance in the 2023 ODI World Cup, where they failed to reach the semi-finals.

The spotlight has once again fallen on Babar Azam's captaincy. After stepping down following the ODI World Cup debacle, he was surprisingly reinstated as white-ball captain. However, this decision failed to change Pakistan's fortunes in the T20 World Cup. Akhtar, known for his outspoken nature, didn't mince words in his criticism. 

"Who made Babar Azam the captain in the first place? Who was Einstein by the way? I need to know that guy. Does he qualify for this job? Does he even know a thing or two about captaincy? I've been saying that Babar Azam is not a captain material," Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan pacer, said on Butt Sports TV.

Also read: Mohammad Hafeez reveals shocking incident from his tenure with Pakistan team

Babar as the captain makes a lot of sense: Imran Khan

Akhtar's use of "Einstein" could be interpreted as a dig at Imran Khan, who had previously pushed for Babar's captaincy.

"I only watched him [Babar] play twice and immediately asked the head of the cricket board, you must make him the captain because he is genuinely world-class. He is exceptional and I haven't seen a player with such versatility and correct technique, such stroke play and temperament; he could go anywhere from here. Babar as the captain makes a lot of sense because you want your captain to be world-class so that he commands respect," Imran had told Piers Morgan in 2022.

Also read: PCB booked 60 hotel rooms for players to stay with families during T20 World Cup 2024

The former pacer went on to predict potential changes in Babar's role, suggesting he might need to bat at number 4 and become a finisher to retain his place in the white-ball setup. 

"What's going to happen to Babar now? He is now going to come down at number 4. He has to finish the games. He has to win the games, if he doesn't, he won't be able to keep his place in T20I. I am telling you right now. He won't be able to find his place in ODIs if he can't finish. The finisher Babar has to come out again. That's when the character comes out. He needs to get in that kind of a position. I am bluntly telling this to Babar, you need to remain a superstar, get to know how to finish games," Akhtar concluded.

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