After threatening to expose Babar Azam, Shahid Afridi plays mind games labelling Babar and Rizwan irreplaceable

Published - 15 Jun 2024, 01:06 PM | Updated - 15 Jun 2024, 01:25 PM

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shahid Afridi
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shahid Afridi (Credits: X)

Following Pakistan's exit from the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, the tournament's ambassador Shahid Afridi has admitted Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are irreplaceable.

The Pakistani team which was playing its 3rd World T20 event under Babar Azam's leadership, received their packing orders without playing their last Group match. The Men in Green were placed in Group A along with heavyweight India and some Minnow teams which gave problems as well - USA, Canada, and Ireland. 

The prospects of Pakistan's exit from the T20 World Cup started taking shape from the first match itself when they experienced a shocking loss to the USA. Many labeled that day as the darkest day in Pakistani cricket while many just mourned without even uttering a single word. Then they lost to the Indian team in New York despite being in a winning position. 

If a little bit of shakeup takes place in the Pakistani team and the PCB management, then it won't be shocking to see as it's a normal thing after a WC exit. In the meantime, former All-rounder and 2009 T20 WC-winning captain Shahid Afridi claimed that the team can remove whoever they want but not Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. 

Shahid Afridi blames PCB for not producing a potent set of players from the bench 

While speaking to a local Pakistani Journalist, Shahid Afridi reasoned that there is no one to replace Babar Azam or Mohammad Rizwan. For the lack of development in the domestic cricketing circuit Afridi blamed the management team for not grooming a potent set of players from the bench who can cause equal impact.  

"Whatever I'm hearing and seeing on social media or whatever the sources say, nowadays everything is run by the sources, so they are saying that 8 to 9 players are going to be kicked out of the team. But this doesn't happen like that. You only remove 8 to 9 players in the team when you have another 8 to 9 players ready to go." - Afridi said. 

Afridi asks if anyone can match Babar Azam or Rizwan's quality

Shahid Afridi then enquired about if there is any player in the country who can match the qualities and performances of Babar and Rizwan. The former All-rounder looked seemingly frustrated while making that statement and he also questioned why the management hasn't focussed on boosting the bench. 

"If you want to talk about removing Babar from the team, then is there a player as good as him waiting to replace him? Is there a better performer than him in Pakistan cricket? You want to remove Rizwan but have you groomed another player who can replace him from the bench, which I always talk about that you should have a strong bench strength."

Lastly, Shahid Afridi bashed the PCB for always blaming the players following their exit from World Cup competitions and blamed them for over-experimenting. Afridi also appealed to the board about paying respect to the players who work and grind hard in the domestic arena. 

"It has become a pattern now that when the World Cup gets over, everything is put on the shoulders of the players, then you again start from scratch and when the World Cup nears, you still keep on experimenting. Until you respect the domestic cricketers who play an entire year." - Shahid Afridi concluded. 


Babar Azam Mohammad Rizwan Pakistan national cricket team Shahid Afridi ICC T20 World Cup