Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has expressed concern and discontent over Babar Azam's resignation as the Pakistan team's captain after the national side failed to qualify for the semis in the mega-event.
Hayden, while speaking to ESPNCricinfo, highlighted the prevailing "structural issues" with Pakistan's cricket setup and said that the problems cannot be attributed to a single individual as they plague the country's sports culture and framework at large.
He also lamented on Babar's removal as the skipper saying that the responsible officials might have overlooked the right-handed batter's contributions as a player and captain.
"Whoever was doing the numbers clearly wasn't looking at them when it came to Babar's performances as non-captain and captain. He actually had far better numbers as a captain. We're talking an average of 50 plus more. So he was a natural leader, a good choice. I think they have potentially shot the gun a little bit early in terms of leadership capabilities."
He added: "He [Babar] is still a young player, a dominant player in world cricket. So I am a little disappointed and a little shocked about the reaction."
Meanwhile, He highlighted the real reasons behind Pakistan’s below-par performance in the World Cup 2023.
“Naseem Shah was not there and Shaheen Afridi was not at his best [...] Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz failed miserably [whereas] Fakhar Zaman never arrived, but when he did, it was too late,” he added.
It is to be noted that Babar stepped down as the Green Shirts' captain in all three formats on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the board, on the same day, confirmed the appointment of Shan Masood as the Test captain of the Pakistan men’s cricket team, while Shaheen Shah Afridi has been named as the T20I captain.
Shan has been appointed captain till the end of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 with his first assignment being the three-match Test series against Australia in Australia commencing on December 14.
Left-arm pacer Shaheen will lead the national side in the T20I format and his first assignment as captain will be the five-match T20I series in New Zealand from January 12 to January 21.
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