Wasim Akram sees Shaheen’s return as captain

The pacer was removed from the captaincy just after one series

News Desk June 23, 2024


Former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram has expressed relief at not being involved with the national team, citing constant criticism and political upheaval within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as major deterrents.

Speaking to an Indian sports platform, Akram addressed the recent controversies surrounding the removal of Shaheen Afridi as captain before the T20 World Cup 2024 and the frequent changes in PCB leadership.

"Three chairmen changed in one year. Ramiz Raja was removed, and Najam Sethi came for three months. Sethi left, and Zaka Ashraf came. After four or five months, Mohsin Naqvi came. How would the team stay consistent?" Wasim questioned.

"They don't take our suggestions, and it's great that I am away from Pakistan cricket. It's a 'blessing in disguise' because it is just criticism, politics," he added.

The former legend highlighted the instability within the PCB and its impact on team consistency.

"Babar Azam was removed from captaincy, Shaheen was appointed. He lost one series, and the chairman was also changed in the same period; therefore, they changed the skipper. This is just not on; people make fun of us in world cricket," he said.

The former captain emphasized the need for stability in leadership, suggesting that Shaheen Afridi should have been given more time to prove himself.

"He’s a wicket-taking bowler. He goes for wickets. He attacks with the new ball in the T20 format. Everyone knows that he’ll pitch it up, but he still gets them out, and that’s what I love about him," he said.

"At least give Shaheen a year to lead, and then he could be changed, but I don't know. He’s an aggressive cricketer, only 23 or 24 years old, maybe younger. Got a bright future ahead. He’ll get the captaincy again but should focus on his game until he doesn’t get it," he concluded.

Under fire Babar

Former Indian cricketer Krishnamachari Srikkanth has stirred controversy with his recent comments regarding Pakistan captain Babar Azam's role in T20 cricket.

Srikkanth's remarks came in the aftermath of Pakistan's exit from the 2024 T20 World Cup, where they secured a narrow three-wicket victory against Ireland in their final Group A match held in Florida.

In a recent interview at a local sports channel, the former cricketer expressed his strong views on Babar's suitability for T20 cricket, suggesting that the Pakistani skipper might be better suited to the Test format.

"Captain Babar Azam. I don't think he should play T20 cricket. Maybe a good Test cricketer. This is my opinion. Frankly speaking. You can't do all these tuk-tuking all the time," Srikkanth said.

The 29-year-old recently surpassing India's Virat Kohli as the leading run-scorer in T20 internationals, Srikkanth questioned the significance of this achievement in light of Babar's relatively lower strike rate.

"You talk about stats - 4000 runs Babar Azam, 4000 runs Virat Kohli, 4000 runs Rohit Sharma. His strike rate is 112-115. What are you talking about?" he said.

The Pakistan cricket team, which failed to qualify for the Super Eight round of the ICC T20 World Cup, retuned home earlier this week.

The players arrived in Pakistan on June 19 via Dubai. However, sources reveal that six players, including the captain, along with four officials, didn’t return with the rest of the team.

These players, namely Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Imad Wasim, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, and Azam Khan, plan to spend time with their family and friends.

Some of them are in to London for holidays. During their time in London, some are considering playing in leagues in the UK.

Meanwhile, head coach Gary Kirsten and assistant coach Azhar Mahmood headed to their homes. The Pakistan cricket team currently did not have any immediate engagements, so the coaching staff, with PCB's permission, is going back to their respective countries.

The Pakistan team is set to host a two-match Test series against Bangladesh in August. Following that, the England Test team is scheduled to tour Pakistan in October.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ