Thursday, July 25, 2024

Pakistan Legend Defends Babar Azam, Lashes Out At Other Pakistan Players


Pakistan World Cup winner Mushtaq Ahmed praised under-fire Pakistan captain Babar Azam, and stated that he requires contributions from the rest of the players. He went on to ask that more respect be shown towards Babar. Babar and the rest of the Pakistan team were heavily criticised by former players, experts and fans as Pakistan crashed out of the 2024 T20 World Cup after the group stage. However, Mushtaq Ahmed rushed to Babar’s defence, stating that he has increased his aggression.

“Babar’s intent has definitely changed in the past year. He has shown aggression in his batting. If a person can improve so much, I think that’s enough,” Mushtaq said to Cricket Pakistan.

“Other players also have a duty to score runs; they have a role to play too. If one person gives you a score, but the rest of our players don’t go on to score in the remaining 7-8 overs, then there’s a problem,” he added.

“This has been happening for 3-4 years. They (other players except Babar) only score when it doesn’t make a significant impact,” stated Mushtaq.

Babar was Pakistan’s top runscorer in the 2024 T20 World Cup, scoring 122 runs in four games, but at a strike rate of just 101.66. Mohammad Rizwan, who scored the second-most runs, had a strike rate of just 90.90.

Mushtaq called for people to respect Babar more, and not forget his contributions to Pakistan cricket.

“If we talk about Babar, there’s a reason why people respect him worldwide. He brings honour to Pakistan. I think sometimes people are very hard on him,” said Mushtaq.

Babar Azam currently ranks among ICC’s top 5 batsmen in all three formats; No. 1 in ODIs, No. 3 in Tests and No. 4 in T20Is.

Despite a rocky T20 World Cup campaign, Babar is expected to retain captaincy, with the ‘major surgery’ earlier promised by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Mohsin Naqvi reportedly unlikely.

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