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Sunday May 26, 2024

'Babar Azam is being weakened'

If changes are required in the set-up, the best way to go about it is to review the situation holistically, Misbah says

By Sohail Imran
January 10, 2023
Former captain and head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, Misbah-ul-Haq. — AFP/File
Former captain and head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, Misbah-ul-Haq. — AFP/File

Former captain and head coach of the Pakistan cricket team Misbah-ul-Haq expressed that "it seems as though attempts were being made to 'weaken' Babar Azam, the national cricket team's skipper".

While talking to Geo News, Haq said: "Everyone can see the kind of press conferences being held these days and the sort of questions being raised in these press conferences."

"If a decision is to be made, it is best that all the stakeholders — the players, the selection committee and the board — sit together and make a unanimous decision that is feasible for all parties."

The former captain further said that if changes are required in the set-up, the best way to go about it is to review the situation holistically.

"If you think that alterations are essential, then there is no harm in making them. However, all decisions should be made keeping the betterment of Pakistan cricket in mind. Decisions made for any other reason, or to put pressure on someone should be avoided as the whole team will be disturbed as a result."

The former head coach further criticised the recent "experimentation" made in the team selected for the home series against England and New Zealand and said "cricket is in my blood, so I stay updated on the game wherever I am. I know what is happening."

'Off-track Test team'

Pakistan suffered a whitewash against England in the three-match Test series, which was the national side's first-ever series clean sweep.

Meanwhile, the two-match series against New Zealand ended in a tame draw.

Misbah, who led Pakistan to its first-ever World Test Championship title in 2016, said that the national Test side is "off-track" due to a lot of changes.

He said, “it is tough to select a strong Test team and the changes made in the selection affected the country’s performance.”

"Pakistan already has such rare few chances of playing in Test series," he lamented.

Misbah said that changing four players would completely alter the batting and bowling performance of the team.

"Our performance in the Tests was very off-track," he said, "changes alone cannot get results."

However, the former head coach admitted that Pakistan is undoubtedly a formidable force in white ball cricket.

He also slammed the decision to separate captains for Test series and white ball cricket. "You will shake up a lot of things by appointing different captains. Doing so will initiate competition amongst players and will foster a political environment," he concluded.