Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi | Source: Twitter
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is deeply disappointed following his team’s early exit from the Asia Cup 2023 after their gut-wrenching two-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in Super 4 encounter, which was a virtual knockout game for both teams at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.
Following their elimination from the continental tournament, it has come to light that there’s been a surge in tension within the Pakistan dressing room. According to reports in Pakistan’s media, a fiery exchange took place between Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi after their final Super 4 match on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Shahid Afridi, who happens to be Shaheen’s father-in-law, has now offered counsel to Babar Azam, suggesting that he should turn to the team director and coach for help if he has to enhance his captaincy.
Notably, Babar Azam’s leadership has come under scrutiny following their exit from the Asia Cup, with numerous former players and fans criticising some of his decisions during the tournament.
Here’s what Shahid Afridi told Samaa TV:
“We are going to the World Cup. All the seniors, including head coach, Mickey, have to talk to him [Babar Azam]. Make him strong. Don’t fear making tough decisions. Don’t worry about losses. Either you win, or you learn.”
The former Pakistan all-rounder further said that Babar has been leading from the last three years and if there are any problems then he should sort it out by reaching out to seniors in the dressing room.
“My issue is, you’ve been leading the side for 3 years. Come on. There are professionals around you. Talk to them and improve your captaincy. You’re a big player, but you would want people to also remember you as captain.”
The Communication Was Broken: Shahid Afridi
Furthermore, Shahid Afridi has made a somewhat startling revelation that during his brief stint as chief selector at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), there was a breakdown in communication between the head coach and the team captain.
“I came in as chief selector for a month. There were so many problems. The captain had one choice, the coach had other choices. Both were giving me different reports, whilst players were giving me different reports altogether. The communication was so broken.”
Pakistan is set to travel to India around September 25, where they will play a couple of warm-up games ahead of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. Meanwhile, the Men in Green faces another setback as Naseem Shah is unlikely to be part of the prestigious event due to a shoulder injury sustained during the Asia Cup 2023.