After enduring a heartbreaking World Cup campaign in India, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam returned to Lahore on Monday. The cricketer was spotted at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, surrounded by security officials and fans. There have been clamours for Babar’s resignation as captain after Pakistan’s poor outings.
A report published by Indian news agency PTI, however, claims that Babar will not voluntarily relinquish his captaincy and will wait for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to take a call on this matter. Babar will meet PCB chief Zaka Ashraf this week and will decide about his all-format captaincy after the meeting, the report added.
Following Pakistan’s disastrous World Cup outing, many have already called for Babar’s resignation. However, legendary India all-rounder Kapil Dev has a different opinion on this. While speaking on a YouTube podcast, Kapil Dev vociferously defended the under-fire Pakistan captain.
“If you say that Babar Azam is not the right choice [for captaincy] today, it is because you are looking at just his current performance. He was the same captain, who made Pakistan team No.1 [in ICC ODI rankings] six months ago,” the World Cup-winning ex-India captain said.
“When someone gets out for zero, 99 percent of the people would want him to be dropped. If an ordinary player comes and scores a brilliant hundred, then they call him a superstar. So don’t look at just current performance. Look at how he has approached the game, how much passion and talent he has,” Kapil Dev added.
Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja also recently came out in full support of Babar. Raja even went on to blast PCB for not being efficient enough in setting up a strong squad.
Babar was appointed Pakistan’s white-ball skipper in 2019. Two years later, he also took over as the Test skipper. Overall, the 29-year-old has led his nation in two Asia Cups, two T20 World Cups and the ongoing ODI World Cup. But Babar has not been able to lead Pakistan to a piece of silverware in any of these events.
Pakistan suffered World Cup elimination this time having registered a fifth-place finish in the standings. Pakistan capped off their World Cup campaign with eight points from nine games. Overall, they won four out of their nine league-stage fixtures.