‘They announced the IPL team’ – Shoaib Akhtar slams ICC for not including Pakistan players in T20I team of the decade
Shoaib Akhtar levelled some serious allegations at the ICC.
Updated - Dec 28, 2020 10:34 am
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has slammed the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the governing body of the game did not name a single Pakistani player in the ICC T20I Team of the Decade. The apex body of the game announced the star-studded side on Sunday and one can say that the Pakistan cricket fraternity would not have been too pleased with it.
In fact, no Pakistan player could manage to get a place in the ODI and Test teams of the Decade too. Talking about the T20I team, it included four players from India, two each from West Indies and Australia and one each from South Africa, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The selection of the team has met with mixed reactions from the fans and experts.
Shoaib Akhtar also made it clear that he was not at all impressed with the selections in the team. The bowling legend was particularly miffed at Babar Azam’s exclusion from the team. Babar is currently the second-ranked T20I batsman and has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the format for quite some time now.
Lashing out at the ICC, Akhtar sarcastically reminded the governing body that Pakistan are also a member of the ICC. Akhtar went as far as saying that Pakistan did not need ‘your T20I Team of the Decade’ as he called it the IPL team and not a world cricket team.
“I think ICC forgot that Pakistan is also a member of ICC and they also play T20I cricket. They did not pick Babar Azam, who is currently the number one batsman in the ICC T20I rankings (ranked no. 2 in T20I batting rankings). They did not pick a single player from Pakistan in the team. We don’t need your (ICC) T20I Team of the Decade because you announced the IPL team, not a world cricket team,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his official YouTube channel.
ICC only thinks about money: Shoaib Akhtar
Proceeding further, Shoaib Akhtar levelled some serious allegations at the ICC. The outspoken cricketer openly criticised the working of ICC and claimed that the organisation is ruining the game for money. He stated that the ICC only thinks about money while taking a dig at the new rules introduced in the game to commercialise it.
“ICC only thinks about money, sponsorships and TV rights. They introduced two new balls and three powerplays (in the ODI cricket). Where is Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, big five of West Indies, Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis)? Where are the world’s fastest bowlers and leg-spinners? They went away because ICC commercialised and materialised cricket so much and allowed ten leagues to earn more revenue,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
“They just want two World Cups in three years and leagues…..There is a big difference between today’s cricket and in 70’s cricket. If there is no Sachin vs Shoaib then what’s the point of watching cricket? There is no big player than Babar Azam in T20I. He is a top-scorer for Pakistan and his averages show what he has done for the country, even in comparison with Virat Kohli. It is so embarrassing and I’m sure after this video they will think that they have to announce the World Team of the Decade, not the IPL team,” he added.