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Shahid Afridi slams PCB, hints at favoritism towards captain Babar Azam: ‘A captain has never got so many chances’

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has lashed out at Babar Azam for his poor captaincy record and hinted at favoritism by the Pakistan Cricket Board. Babar was under the spotlight after Pakistan were knocked out of the T20 World Cup early after losing to USA and India in the group stage and failing to qualify for the Super 8 stage. PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi also said the board will make major changes to the system, calling it a ‘major surgery’.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam throws his bat after losing a wicket in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup cricket match. (PTI)

Earlier last year, Babar gave up the captaincy after the team’s poor performance in the ODI World Cup and Shaheen Afridi took over as the T20I captain. However, the left-arm pacer could not get a long rope and was sacked after just one series. However, Naqvi reinstated Babar as Pakistan’s white-ball captain ahead of the T20 World Cup, replacing Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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Shahid Afridi, who is currently competing in the World Championship of Legends 2024 in England, said no other Pakistan captain has been given such a long rope as Babar, who has led Pakistan to victories in several World Cups and Asia Cups but is yet to win an ICC trophy.

“They should take a decision on the captain or the coach and then give them time. As for Babar, we have also captained a lot and a captain has never got so many chances. As soon as the World Cup is over, usually the captain would be the first to be blamed. 2-3 World Cup, 2-3 Asian Cup, he got enough opportunities,” Afridi said in a video that went viral on social media.

Meanwhile, the PCB has expelled former Test players Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq from the selection committee following the team’s disaster in the T20 World Cup last month.

Wahab and Razzaq were on the committee, which does not have a chairman and includes the national team captain, technical director and a data analyst.

Afridi criticised the PCB for only sacking Riaz and Razzaq as part of the operation that Naqvi had mentioned earlier.

“I came to know that only Abdul Razzaq and Wahab Riaz were expelled from the selection committee. I don’t understand this surgery. If the selection committee consists of 6-7 people, why were only these two expelled?” Afridi added.

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