While discussing Pakistan’s disappointment in the Asia Cup, Shahid Afridi also reminisced about his prior role as the chief selector at the PCB earlier this year.
Pakistan endured a disappointing loss to Sri Lanka in the pivotal encounter of the Asia Cup 2023, missing their chance to secure a spot in the tournament’s championship match against India.
In a rain-interrupted 42-over game held in Colombo, Sri Lanka secured victory on the very last delivery of the match. Charith Asalanka, displaying impressive composure, contributed an undefeated 49 runs, guaranteeing his team’s presence in the Asia Cup 2023 final.
Despite a late surge by Shaheen Afridi that almost snatched victory for Pakistan in the second-to-last over, Asalanka’s unwavering nerve guided Sri Lanka to a last-ball triumph, shattering Pakistan’s hopes.
Criticism of Babar Azam’s captaincy has surfaced post-Asia Cup
After Pakistan’s elimination from the competition, there has been substantial criticism of both the team’s overall performance and Babar Azam’s leadership, which was closely scrutinized throughout the tournament.
Certain choices in the playing XI, notably the excessive reliance on the underperforming Shadab Khan, received disapproval. Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi made an intriguing comment about the present team.
Afridi has collaborated with Babar Azam and the team’s management during his short tenure as chief selector after the restructuring of the Pakistan Cricket Board earlier this year. He disclosed that it was a tumultuous experience.
“I came in as chief selector for one month. Believe me, there were so many problems. Captain had one choice, the coach has another. Both give me different reports.”
“Players give me different reports altogether. Communication is so broke, I was baffled at how is this board even running? There is no coordination, no communication between these guys,” Afridi recalled on Samaa TV.
Afridi maintains faith in Babar but emphasizes retired cricketers and team director Mickey Arthur should discuss his decision-making and leadership growth.
“We are going to World Cup. All the seniors, including head coach, Mickey, have to talk to him. Make him strong. Don’t fear from making tough decisions. Don’t worry about losses. Either you win, or you learn. 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,” stated Afridi.
Under the leadership of Babar Azam, the team will resume playing in the 2023 World Cup. They are set to travel to India later this month, where Pakistan will engage in two warm-up matches before commencing their campaign against the Netherlands on October 6th.