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Monday July 22, 2024

Cricketers react to Babar Azam stepping down as Pakistan's skipper

Babar resigned as captain from all three formats following months of criticism over team's poor performance

By Web Desk
November 15, 2023
— AFP/File
— AFP/File

Following Babar Azam's resignation as the Pakistan team's skipper in all three formats, cricketers have lauded the right-handed batter for his services as captain which saw the Men in Green becoming the top-ranked team in one-day internationals (ODIs).

Earlier in the day, the 29-year-old stepped down as the Pakistan cricket team's captain after facing severe criticism over the team's dismal performance first in the Asia Cup and then in the ongoing World Cup 2023.

Babar, appointed as white-ball captain in 2019 and later Test skipper in 2020, has been under scrutiny due to Green Shirts' early exit from the mega-event courtesy of the team's below-par performance in bowling, fielding and batting departments.

Reacting to Babar's resignation as skipper, his teammate and Pakistan team's wicket-keeper batsman Muhammad Rizwan took to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to laud the 29-year-old batter terming him as "one of the greatest batsmen Pakistan has ever seen".

"Kaptaaana, aap Dilo k Kaptaan ho (Captain! You rule our hearts)," Rizwan said.

Meanwhile, former Test captain Azhar Ali thanked the right-handed batsman for his efforts as captain.

Ex-allrounder Mohammad Hafeez also lauded Babar for his services as skipper and wished him future success.

"Thank you for your services as captain", Sohail Tanveer said.

"Thank You so Much for all your services for Pakistan as a Captain. And for taking Pakistan’s ODI team to the No.1 spot," former spinner Saeed Ajmal wrote.

Earlier in the day, Babar, following his meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf announced to step down as Pakistan's captain.

"Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It's a difficult decision but I feel it is [the] right time for this call," Babar said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

"I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication," he noted.

Babar, despite being just 29 years old, has had an illustrious career, and he remained the top-ranked ODI batter for more than two years. The ex-skipper was the only batter to achieve the top three positions across all formats.

The batter said reaching the number 1 spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management.