Former Pakistan cricket team captain Shoaib Malik has recommended that current captain Babar Azam should voluntarily step down from his leadership role in the team. Malik spoke about this in a recent interview with Geo News program Score. Malik believes that Azam is a great batter, but the expectations of the Pakistani public have been too high, and they tend to conflate a player’s leadership abilities with their batting prowess. Malik feels that if Azam were to relinquish the captaincy and focus solely on his batting, he could break numerous records on the international stage.
Malik also said that the nature of cricket has changed over the past couple of decades. In the past, one player’s individual performance was often enough to win a match, but now it takes at least four to five players to perform well for the team to succeed. Malik stated that Azam’s captaincy still has room for improvement and that it would take time for him to mature into the role. If Azam were to focus on his batting, he would have the opportunity to become a world-class batter without the added pressure of captaincy weighing on him.
Last month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that Shadab Khan would be the stand-in captain for the three-match T20 series against Afghanistan, with senior players such as Azam being rested. This move sparked speculation that Azam might lose his captaincy in one format, and the board was testing out potential new leaders. However, the PCB’s Management Committee Chairman, Najam Sethi, clarified that Azam would continue as captain and asked people to support him.
Sethi went on to explain that the future of Azam’s captaincy would be decided by the selections committee and Mickey Arthur, who is set to become the national team director. Sethi emphasized that Azam is a fantastic player, and his captaincy is something that the team management will decide in the future. He stressed that for now, Azam would continue as captain because he is a crucial player for the team.
Sethi also mentioned that the opinions of Azam and his performance would be critical in making any future decisions regarding his captaincy. The chairman believes that Azam is the star player of the team and that if he performs well as captain, he will continue in his role. Sethi emphasized that the PCB would support Azam and that they were confident he would perform well in the upcoming New Zealand series.
In conclusion, while Malik suggests that Azam should relinquish his captaincy, the final decision lies with the team management and selections committee. For now, the PCB has reiterated its support for Azam as captain and believes that he can continue to excel in the role while also performing exceptionally as a batter.