Shoaib Akhtar slams ICC for excluding Babar Azam from T20I Team of the Decade
The International Cricket Council announced the Team of the Decade, across formats, on Sunday. None of the teams featured any player from Pakistan. Along with some other Pakistan fans, Shoaib Akhtar believes that Babar Azam should have been an ideal inclusion.
On Sunday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the ICC Team of the Decade, across formats. While the teams included quite a few players from across nations, it was notable for not featuring any Pakistani player.
Naturally, Pakistani fans vented their anger and frustrations at the ICC for the same, besides reckoning that number one T20I batsman, Babar Azam, should have definitely featured. Also, former Pakistani pacer slammed the ICC for the same, besides believing that the Team of the Decade is not just based on the players who feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"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 (now ranked number two). 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," said Akhtar on his YouTube channel, quotes ANI.
"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," he added.
"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 concluded.
As for the teams, MS Dhoni leads the limited-overs side, while Virat Kohli leads the Test side. Among other Indians, the T20I teams had senior opener, Rohit Sharma, along with pacer, Jasprit Bumrah. The three Indians also featured in the ODI team, barring Bumrah, while the Test team possesses Kohli, along with veteran off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin.
ICC T20I Team of the Decade: Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (c), Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga.
ICC ODI Team of the Decade: Rohit Sharma, David Warner, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shakib Al Hasan, MS Dhoni (c), Ben Stokes, Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Imran Tahir and Lasith Malinga.
ICC Test Team of the Decade: Alistair Cook, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli (c), Steve Smith, Kumar Sangakkara, Ben Stokes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Dale Steyn, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.