Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam© AFP
Former Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir blasted current skipper Babar Azam for the team’s disappointing performance in the Cricket World Cup 2023. Pakistan lost five out of their nine group stage matches and missed out on the semifinals. Amir was not convinced by former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja‘s suggestions that it was not Babar but the system in Pakistan that was to blame for the elimination. Responding to the statements in a recent interaction, Amir reminisced about trophies won in the past and emphasised on the impact that former skipper had on the national team.
“Captaincy does matter. What is the system? It is not a wall. Five and six people have been given responsibility to run the Pakistan cricket. A captain is also one of them. In 1992 under Imran Khan, we won the World Cup, the system was same. In 1999, our team was a world-beater, who reached the finals. We won the 2009 T20 World Cup with the same system, we won the 2017 Champions Trophy under the same system,” said Amir on a show ‘Haarana Mana Hay‘ on Geo news.
Amir also cited the example of England who also had a horrible run in the Cricket World Cup 2023.
“Babar is captain for past four years. He has build his team on his own. Buttler is not part of our system, then why did England played so badly? Does the system in England also need a makeover? After 2015 debacle, Morgan said I want to play this brand of cricket, I want these 25 players. System remained the same, it is the captain, who changed his mindset. England were struggling in Test cricket for two years. Joe Root was the captain. System is same but we say England’s Test cricket has changed. It was Ben Stokes, who changed his approach.”
“As long as captain’s mindset will not change, system can do nothing. Was it the system, who told him not to play Abrar Ahmad, or bench Fakhar after first match,” Amir added.
The former fast bowler even name-dropped MS Dhoni to drive home his point.
“We say Dhoni changed India’s cricket, but he never changed the system. People kept saying that for how long will he keep giving Jadeja and Ashwin chances. And now we say Jadeja is World’s best all-rounder. MS Dhoni has given them the team,” he concluded.
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