Newly-appointed Pakistan white-ball skipper Babar Azam has come under criticism from the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Rashid Latif for comments he made on wanting to emulate the captaincy style of Imran Khan.
Akhtar said that if Babar wanted to emulate the 1992 World Cup-winning captain, then he would have to match the current Pakistan Prime Minister’s personality as well.
“Babar Azam wants to be a captain like Imran Khan 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,” Akhtar said in a YouTube show WAJI’s Sports.
“Please don’t speak about things which we already know from the past 10 years. We won’t buy this argument. 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,” he added.
Former Pakistan wicket-keeper Latif echoed Akhtar’s sentiments and said that his focus must be on making a ‘strong statement’ rather than giving obvious headlines on things people are familiar with.
“When captain is sitting in a press conference, he gives insight about his vision but this was clearly lacking. Our captain is giving headlines about the language barrier and things we already know, like comparison with Virat Kohli.
“Babar 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.”
The debate over Babar kicked off when former pacer Tanvir Ahmed had said that the star batsman will have to improve his personality, his dressing sense and his English.
“Try to improve your personality,” Tanvir was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan. “By personality, I mean a person can change his dressing sense. Babar Azam also needs to improve his English, which is necessary. Whenever someone becomes a captain, he has to talk during the toss and post-match presentation.
“Plus, he will also give interviews on various channels when he tours different countries. A leader needs to be punctual and organised as the players follow the captain. He should also maintain his fitness level, because if the captain himself isn’t fit, then he can’t advise other players on improving their fitness.”