Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

'Good leadership can turnaround...': Shahid Afridi blasts Babar Azam over early exit from T20 World Cup 2024

Legendary Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi has once again criticised current captain Babar Azam following Pakistan's early exit from the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024. Afridi, known for his strong opinions, blamed Babar for the team’s disappointing performance and emphasised the importance of good leadership in turning around the team's fortunes.

cricket 'Good leadership can turnaround...': Shahid Afridi blasts Babar Azam over early exit from T20 World Cup 2024 osf
Author
First Published Jun 18, 2024, 7:45 PM IST

Legendary Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi has once again criticised current captain Babar Azam following Pakistan's early exit from the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024. After initially extending support to Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, Afridi has now launched a scathing attack on Babar's leadership.

Rumours are circulating about a potential overhaul of the Pakistan cricket team after their dismal performance in the T20 World Cup 2024. Reports suggest that eight to nine players could be removed to form a new white-ball team.

Afridi was quick to dismiss these suggestions, slamming critics who proposed Babar Azam's removal. "Who will replace Babar if he's removed by the PCB and the selection committee? There is no player of Babar’s caliber in the whole country," Afridi remarked.

Days after his initial support, Afridi took a U-turn and indirectly criticized Babar's captaincy during the T20 World Cup 2024. The legendary all-rounder blamed Babar for Pakistan's disappointing performance, which included shocking losses to the USA and India in Group A.

Pakistani journalist Saj Sadiq recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of Pakistan’s thrilling win over South Africa in the 2009 T20 World Cup semifinals. Afridi played a pivotal role in that victory, scoring 52 runs off 34 balls and dismissing dangerous batsmen Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers. This performance helped Pakistan defeat South Africa by 7 runs at Nottingham, paving their way to the final, where they beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets to lift their only T20 World Cup title in London.

Reflecting on Sadiq's post, Afridi revealed insights into the 2009 team dynamics. "The Pakistan team was unhappy and disjointed initially, but it was the magic of Younis Khan’s captaincy that brought everyone together, and we created history by winning the 2009 T20 World Cup in England," Afridi shared.

"A good captain can turn around the team in any situation," Afridi taunted, indirectly targeting Babar Azam. He referenced rumors of a rift within the team, suggesting it impacted their T20 World Cup 2024 performance. Afridi believed it was Babar's responsibility to unite the team and showcase their talent to the world, a task he felt Babar failed to accomplish both as captain and as a batsman.

Afridi's critique isn't new; he has previously criticized Babar Azam's captaincy multiple times. Earlier, he had also expressed disappointment over Babar snatching Pakistan’s white-ball captaincy from his son-in-law, Shaheen Afridi, months before the T20 World Cup 2024.

In his X post, Afridi emphasized, "Even in 2009, the team was unhappy and a bit disjointed after some early defeats. It was Younis Khan’s leadership that brought everyone together as we created history! Good leadership can turn around the team in any situation!"

As Pakistan cricket faces scrutiny and calls for change, Afridi's comments have once again sparked debate about leadership and team dynamics within the national squad.

Latest Videos
Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios