“Does Babar have the ability? Can he act like…”: Shoaib Akhtar Strongly Criticized Skipper Babar Azam And PCB After Chennai Debacle

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has launched a scathing attack on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the national cricket team following their disheartening eight-wicket loss to Afghanistan in Chennai. This unexpected defeat has pushed Pakistan to the brink of elimination from the World Cup semifinals. 

Akhtar’s primary concern revolves around the leadership of the team and the PCB. He emphasizes the need to appoint individuals who are truly qualified for their roles. He suggests that the prevalence of mediocrity in decision-making has resulted in subpar performances on the field.

“You can’t say much after watching this performance. Please put the right man in the right place, for god sake. Anyone is becoming chairman; for how long will we keep supporting mediocrity? You will keep putting the average people at the helm and receiving such average performances,” Shoaib said on his YouTube channel.

Shoaib Akhtar attributes the team’s current state to the long-standing choices made in Pakistani cricket. He sees the consequences of these choices as the reason for Pakistan’s underwhelming performances. The impact of these decisions is now vividly displayed on television screens.

“This is the true reflection of the PCB what is shown on television today. This is the direct impact of your choices for the past 20-30 years in cricket. This is the result you are getting,” he added.

One of the most profound criticisms from Shoaib Akhtar is the absence of inspirational figures in the current Pakistan team. He recalls legends like Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, and Imran Khan, who inspired generations. Akhtar questions whether any player in the current team can ignite the same passion for cricket among young fans.

“Tell me one thing: this team has one inspiring cricketer. I have seen the likes of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Steve Waugh, Allan Border, and Viv Richards. Which cricketer in the Pakistan team is inspiring enough for kids to pick up the sport? Why do people still watch our videos? We were inspiring the generation.”

Shoaib Akhtar expresses his heartfelt connection to Pakistan cricket and its well-being. He yearns to return to the glory days when Pakistan’s cricketing icons were celebrated worldwide. He highlights the importance of introducing exciting, aggressive play and names players who should be allowed to revitalize the team.

“I have played for Pakistan; my heart bleeds. I will keep supporting Pakistan. If I had been with Babar now, I would have told him to step up as a captain. This is the worst which has happened. Now we are playing four teams, and let’s win them all. If he is watching my videos, okay, the system is messed up .. leave it. Play right people. Bring Fakhar back and give him the license to attack. Bring Zaman and look for other options. Play aggressively. Babar should also bat with a strike rate of 120. Pakistan is batting with a strike rate of 80 and 90. Gurbaz was playing at 122. Pakistan plays 150 dot balls in every match. We are scared.”

Akhtar calls for an immediate change in strategy and attitude. He implores the captain, Babar Azam, to lead by example and for players like Fakhar Zaman to be brought back into the fold with the freedom to attack. Shoaib believes a more aggressive approach is essential to rekindling Pakistan’s cricketing spirit.

Despite the bleak outlook, Shoaib Akhtar believes Pakistan can still salvage their World Cup campaign. He questions whether Babar Azam has the courage and ability to lead the team to success. He parallels the 1992 World Cup-winning captain, Imran Khan, and urges current players to emulate the legends who came before them.

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“Does Babar have the courage? Does he have the ability? Can he act like 1992 Imran Khan? Can Shaheen become Wasim Akram? Can Haris Rauf become Aquib Javed? Can Shadab become Mushtaq Ahmed? Can this team do this? I believe in this team, but do they? God knows,” he said.

In an unexpected turn, Shoaib Akhtar praised Afghanistan for their maturity and victory over Pakistan. He commended their management for imparting valuable lessons. He also acknowledged Afghanistan’s progress in cricket despite needing more infrastructure or resources than other cricketing nations enjoy.

Akhtar concluded, “Many congratulations to Afghanistan. They are like our brothers. We have lost to our brother, which is fine. I am very happy that Zadran Gurbaz has finally shown the required maturity. They gave themselves time in the middle. Hats off to their management .. Ajay Jadeja and Jonathan Trott taught them well. For the past fifty years, look at Afghanistan. They don’t have the infrastructure, and there is no first-class cricket. They have been through worse in the past couple of years, and after going through everything, they have proven themselves and defeated Pakistan by eight wickets. They are teaching Pakistan how to play cricket. Well done, Afghanistan!”

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