Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has finally given his opinion reharding the controversy surrounding skipper and star batter Babar Azam, saying that he should step down as the team’s captain voluntarily.
“Babar Azam is a great batter but we do injustice by putting his leadership qualities and batting ability on the same scale,” Malik told on the Geo News programme “Score”.
Malik’s comments came amid mixed opinions regarding the Babar’s leadership qualities and reckoned that it was a culture in Pakistan to expect immediate results.
Malik felt that it used to be 20 to 25 years ago when any single player would win the match with his individual performance however, nowadays the situation has completely changed as four to five performing players are required in the team for success.
Malik, 41, said that if he was in Babar’s place, he would have stepped down from the leadership role and would have focussed on his batting. The all-rounder then suggested those who were close to Babar advise him to quit captaincy.
“This will help Babar Azam make more records on an international level as the pressure on him will be limited to his batting,” Malik reckoned.
He also expressed that Babar’s captaincy still required improvement and it would take a lot of time to mature.
Earlier in March this year, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had announced Shadab Khan as the stand-in skipper for the three-match T20 series against Afghanistan and had given rest to many senior players including skipper Babar.
The move however, gave rise to speculations that Babar may lose captaincy in one format and that is why the PCB is testing players for the leadership role.
Later, PCB’s Management Committee Chairman Najam Sethi refuted the claims regarding the skipper’s role in the team and said that Babar will continue to perform his duties as the captain and asked people to support him.
Later, Sethi also said that the future of Babar’s captaincy will be decided by the selections committee and Mickey Arthur, who is set to become the national team director. “For now, we have retained Babar as a captain because he is our main player. His captaincy is often discussed in media, we have nothing to do with it,” the PCB head added.