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PCB COO is ‘very annoyed’ over leak of his conversation with Babar Azam

Senior journalist says controversy has created a trust deficit between the national team players and the PCB COO

November 02, 2023
PCB COO Salman Naseer (Left) and Pakistan captain Babar Azam. — X/@salnaseer/AFP/File
PCB COO Salman Naseer (Left) and Pakistan captain Babar Azam. — X/@salnaseer/AFP/File

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer is annoyed over the leak of his WhatsApp conversation with Pakistan captain Babar Azam, senior sports journalist Sohail Imran disclosed on Thursday.

“PCB COO Salman Naseer is very annoyed that in corporate culture the conversation that was shared between people should have remained between them..,” he said while speaking on Geo Pakistan show.

The PCB COO, the senior journalist said, is also concerned that players would be wary of discussing their matters with him in future amid fears that their private conversations may get leaked.

The journalist shared that the PCB COO is worried over players' concerns that their private conversation with him might be shared with the PCB chairman or someone else and it ultimately gets leaked to the media.

Journalist Imran said the latest saga has created a trust deficit between the national team players and the PCB COO.

Moreover, according to the journalist, Babar is also annoyed over the leak fearing that his private conversation on sensitive matters may get leaked to the media in future.

Responding to a question about who leaked the conversation, the journalist said everything related to the controversy had come out into the open and the one who leaked it had also accepted responsibility.

Leak controversy

The saga began after an alleged "private" WhatsApp chat between Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and a senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official was aired live on local TV recently.

The leaked conversation lent credence to the reports that senior management of the PCB was ignoring Babar Azam's messages.

Speaking on state broadcaster PTV Sports, Rashid Latif claimed that the captain has been sending messages to the PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf, Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer and Director of International Cricket Usman Wahla for the last two days, but all three of them are not responding.

The controversy also came under discussion on a private news channel when a screenshot of an alleged WhatsApp chat between the two was aired.

“Babar, there’s also been this news circulating on TV and social media that you have been calling Chairman and he’s not answering. Have you called him recently?”

To which, Babar Azam allegedly replied: “Salam Salman bhai, ma nay to sir ko koi call nai ke [Salam Salman bhai, I have not made any calls to sir].”

“Ok thanks,” the other person responded.

However, there was no mention of the date when the communication took place.

Former Pakistan cricketer, Azhar Ali, who was one of the guests on the show, asked the reporter whether he took Babar’s consent before leaking a private communication.

To which he said, as a reporter, he doesn’t need to ask.

This move didn’t sit well with netizens who blasted the TV channel management and the reporter over their “unethical” move.