Rashid Latif Slams Pakistan’s Decision To Appoint ‘Selfish’ Babar Azam As T20I Skipper

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Credits: Twitter)

Pakistan have stripped Sarafraz Ahmed from leadership roles across formats after an overall dip in his performance. The apex body now has bestowed the responsibilities on Azhar Ali for the Tests while Babar Azam will lead the side in the T20I format. However, it didn’t go well with former cricketer Rashid Latif who slammed Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to hand ‘selfish’ Babar the captaincy role.

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Meanwhile, it will be a great honour for the young batsman to lead the country. Babar Azam, the No.1 ranked batsman in T20Is, has previously captained Pakistan in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012. He was vice-captain in the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka and is presently captaining Central Punjab in the National T20 Cup.

He will face a stern challenge in his first assignment as the Pakistan skipper when they play Australia in the three-match series starting from November 3. While many lauded the move by PCB considering the future, former cricketer Rashid Latif feels it might hurt the country’s cricket.

Rashid Latif Slams Pakistan's Decision To Appoint 'Selfish' Babar Azam As T20I Skipper
Rashid Latif. (AFP PHOTO/ Asif HASSAN)

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PCB didn’t do any homework or research before appointing Babar as captain,” said Latif. “They are using Babar to remove Sarfaraz from captaincy which can be damaging for Babar’s career. Even if he does well individually, Pakistan team is likely to suffer,” he added.

Furthermore, Rashid Latif believes the appointment of Babar Azam at the helm of things in the T20Is might affect the relationship within the set-up. He feels the decision will not go down well with aspired leaders Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir.

The former cricketer stated that it has hurt the relationships in the dressing room previously and it is likely to happen the same. Latif feels it will take Babar Azam a lot to rebuild the trust within his teammates.

Rashid Latif Slams Pakistan's Decision To Appoint 'Selfish' Babar Azam As T20I Skipper
Babar Azam (Credits – Twitter)

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“We have to see if Babar could build trust with his players as Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir might have had aspirations to lead the T20I side as well,” he said. “We have seen in the past that such things have caused huge problems in the team so it can be damaging to our cricket,” Latif continued.

The 51-year-old Rashid Latif also believes that Babar Azam is not a selfless leader. Proving his claims, Latif said that he preferred himself as an opener instead of wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Faisalabad.

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“Sarfaraz used to sacrifice his batting position for the team’s cause whereas Babar doesn’t,” he said. “Babar could have played at one down while playing for Central Punjab as he is an established player, but instead he demoted Kamran to one-down position who does well as an opener in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). That’s why Central Punjab is at the bottom and Balochistan are on top,” Latif concluded.

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