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Shahid Afridi: Was Never in Favour of Babar Azam Leading Pakistan, But He Proved Me Wrong

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has been able to garner a lot of support around him since he assumed the role of captaincy across all formats last year. Additionally, Babar’s legacy in all three formats of the game is being forged wherein he was also successful in becoming the best in the game’s shortest format in 2021.

Earlier this year, Babar guided Pakistan to the T20 World Cup semi-finals in 2021, with strong victories over India and New Zealand. The No.1 ranked ICC T20i batsman, however, may not have had the same support when he was stepping into the role of captain. Former Pakistan bowler Shahid Afridi is among the few who didn’t back Babarfor the leader’s role earlier, but he has now been convinced of his ability to manage leadership as well as individual performance.

Former Pakistan captain Afridi stated on Samaa TV that he was not in support of Babar being named captain of the Pakistan squad. He went on to say that being the captain of the Pakistani squad comes with a lot of responsibility. The pressure, according to Afridi, would have had a negative impact on Babar’s batting.

Afridi feared that there would be a lot of pressure on Babarbecause as captain, one needs to handle not only the player but also the media in addition to being closely connected with the Pakistan Cricket Board and the selection committee. He said, “I was not confident that he (Babar) would be able to lead the squad. But, he has proved me wrong with his performance (as captain).”

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He also expressed similar reservations regarding left-arm bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi’s recent appointment as captain of the Pakistan Super League’s Lahore Qalandars. Further, he said, “I had advised Shaheen to wait for a year or two before accepting captaincy, so that he can focus more on his bowling but as he is also an Afridi, he didn’t listen to me.”

 

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