Shahid Afridi expressed his desire for Babar Azam, Pakistan’s current captain, to prove him wrong about his captaincy during the ICC World Cup 2023. However, according to Afridi, Babar didn’t meet those expectations.
Afridi, who led the Green Shirts in the 2011 World Cup, shared his perspective, stating that Babar had grown as a player but hadn’t shown corresponding improvement in his captaincy.
“I hoped to be proven wrong. I wished to see Babar evolve into a better captain over time, but that hasn’t happened. While he continued to excel as a player, I couldn’t witness the same level of growth in his captaincy. To be honest, I didn’t see in Babar what I was hoping for,” Shahid Afridi explained during a local sports show.
The 46-year-old then outlined the qualities of a good leader, emphasizing the need to embrace challenges and give their best.
“A true leader doesn’t shy away from failure; they wholeheartedly seize their opportunities, especially when they perform well individually and have no fear of losing their captaincy. Babar has been leading for four years, an unusually long tenure. He’s received support from everyone.”
Afridi encouraged Babar to seek input from five to six senior players on the squad.
“So, aside from the management and coach, Babar should engage with 5-6 senior players. This fosters a sense of commitment and unity among the players. Having played in this team, I understand that consulting only a few players and neglecting others creates issues. All players should be considered equally. When you win, you all win, and when you lose, you all lose.”
It’s important to note that Pakistan suffered a nail-biting one-wicket loss to South Africa in Chennai, seriously denting their chances of reaching the event’s semi-finals.
This marked Pakistan’s fourth consecutive defeat in the tournament, a first in a single edition of the World Cup. Pakistan’s prospects for a semi-final berth now hinge on a host of uncertain factors, even if they manage to win their remaining matches against Bangladesh, New Zealand, and England.
Pakistan 2023 World Cup Squad:
- Babar Azam (c)
- Abdullah Shafique
- Fakhar Zaman
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
- Shadab Khan
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Usama Mir
- Haris Rauf
- M Wasim Jnr
- Hasan Ali
- Shaheen Shah Afridi
- Saud Shakeel
- Salman Ali Agha
- Mohammad Haris
- Abrar Ahmed
- Zaman Khan