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ODI World Cup 2023: Wasim Akram criticizes Babar Azam for jersey exchange with Virat Kohli

The 2023 World Cup match between India and Pakistan witnessed a remarkable display of sportsmanship as Virat Kohli gifted his jersey to Babar Azam after India's dominant victory. However, this gesture sparked controversy, with fans and cricketing legend Wasim Akram criticising the timing of the exchange.

cricket ODI World Cup 2023: Wasim Akram criticizes Babar Azam for jersey exchange with Virat Kohli osf
First Published Oct 15, 2023, 1:41 PM IST

After India's decisive seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the 2023 World Cup group match, Virat Kohli graciously gifted his jersey to Babar Azam, the Pakistani captain. India delivered a cricketing spectacle in the highly-anticipated World Cup clash against arch-rivals Pakistan, securing a comprehensive seven-wicket win at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. What was anticipated as a fiercely competitive match turned into a dominant display by India, with captain Rohit Sharma leading the charge with a remarkable 86 runs off 63 balls, guiding his team to chase down a modest target of 192 with an impressive 19.3 overs to spare.

In the aftermath of Pakistan's defeat, a post-match gesture stirred controversy on social media. The gesture involved Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Virat Kohli, with Kohli seen presenting his jersey to Babar. Many Pakistani fans believed that such an exchange should have taken place in the privacy of the dressing room, considering the significant margin of defeat. A fan conveyed this sentiment during a television show on A Sports in Pakistan, addressing a panel of experts, including Wasim Akram.

The fan expressed that such gestures should have been made privately, and Akram vehemently agreed, offering an intriguing comment on Babar.

“That’s what I exactly said when I saw the picture [getting the shirts publicly, not privately],” Akram said.

“Today was not the day to do this. If you want to do it – 'If your uncle's son has asked you to get Kohli's shirt – then do it after the game in the dressing room,'” Akram further stated.

Looking ahead, Pakistan is eager to bounce back after a challenging loss and will face a struggling Australian team on October 20. Pat Cummins' team is yet to secure a win in the tournament, suffering heavy defeats against India and South Africa. The significant margin of defeat has also impacted Pakistan's Net Run Rate (NRR), leaving the team with four points and an NRR of -0.137. In contrast, India now leads the table with 6 points and a superior NRR compared to New Zealand.

Also Read: 'Glad Pakistan couldn't dedicate a win to Hamas': Israel envoy after India's victory in ODI World Cup 2023

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