‘He failed to prove himself as leader’, Afridi on Babar’s role as skipper after World Cup 2023 debacle

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Ex-cricketer Shahid Afridi on Monday expressed disappointment with the Pakistan team’s poor World Cup run and said that skipper Babar Azam failed to prove himself as leader and captain ever since accepting the coveted role.

The Green Shirts were eliminated from the World Cup 2023 following a rather dismal performance in all three departments leading to five losses in nine matches of the tournament.

Speaking at an event in Karachi, Afridi said: “”As much of a star Babar is as an individual player, it was my wish that he also makes his way in the list of the top [cricketing] captains.”

Flanked by several ex-cricketers including Misbah Ul Haq, Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmanl, Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul, Afridi said that the 29-year-old batter didn’t deliver as a captain as it was expected of him.

“We believed that in his three to four years [of captaincy] Babar would have groomed and would’ve proved himself as a captain and a leader. But this didn’t happen, we [have] seen a lot of mistakes [from him],” the former allrounder said highlighting that the top batter’s role as skipper was never threatened during this time.

“A leader should be steadfast and must know how to lead the team […] a leader doesn’t have one or two [favourite] players” he added. while stressing that a leader must ensure consensus amongst his teammates.

“Younis Khan didn’t make unilateral decisions [during his captaincy], he used to take all of us in confidence and seek advice [regarding his decisions],” Afridi said while stressing that a leader must ensure consensus amongst his teammates.

“A leader should have such qualities,” he concluded.

Babar, the right-hand batter, has been under scrutiny for Pakistan’s disappointing World Cup run and early elimination from the mega-event.

Meanwhile, the team has returned to the country in groups, as another batch of players — including Agha Salman, Imam-ul-Haq and Shaheen Shah Afridi — already arrived in Lahore from Kolkata via Dubai, while some headed straight to their hometowns.

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