Thursday May 21, 2020
Former wicketkeeper batsman Rashid Latif and pace legend Shoaib Akhtar have said that limited-overs skipper Babar Azam displayed a "lack of insight" when addressing certain issues in a recent teleconference set up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Recently, Azam spoke over matters related to his English skills, being compared to India skipper Virat Kohli and idolising Imran Khan’s captaincy.
The ex-cricketers were apparently not impressed with Azam’s talk which they deemed "scripted", and said that the star batsman needed to speak on more meaningful topics.
In quotes credited to a local TV channel, Akhtar and Latif stated that Azam should have made impressionable comments about his vision as captain instead of discussing trivial matters.
"When a captain is sitting in a press conference, he gives insight about his vision but this was clearly lacking. Our captain is giving headlines about language barrier and things we already know, like comparison with Virat Kohli," Latif said.
"Azam should have made a strong statement rather than just following the script given to him. You have already showcased that your mental attitude and approach is not up to the mark." he added.
Meanwhile, Akhtar advised Azam to not just take inspiration from Imran's playing style but also emulate his captaincy style.
"He wants to be a captain like Imran but this does not mean that it will only be related to playing cricket. He needs to take a leaf out of PM Imran’s book with regards to personality as well," said Akhtar.
"Please don’t speak about things which we already know from the past 10 years. We won’t buy this argument," he said.
The former pacer emphasised that the 25-year-old needed to polish up his persona or would suffer greatly.
"Babar has to sharpen up his communication skills, his personality, ability to lead from the front, fitness level etc. I think he has a lot to prove."
"I wish him best of luck for the future but if he keeps on following people around him, right now, then he will end up where he started," he concluded.