The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for Pakistan, with highs and lows that have left fans and experts alike in a state of perpetual suspense. As the tournament progresses, the pressure mounts on Pakistan’s team captain, Babar Azam, who has faced heavy criticism for not only his own underwhelming performance but also for his leadership.
Pakistan’s journey in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has been a tumultuous one. The team has shown flashes of brilliance, but they have also suffered from inconsistency and underwhelming performances. One of the most significant setbacks for Pakistan was their recent match against England in Kolkata, where they were chasing a formidable target of 338 runs.
The pressure of a do-or-die situation was palpable, and the stakes were incredibly high. Unfortunately, Pakistan couldn’t muster the strength to chase down the target, marking an early exit from the tournament. The disappointment of not making it to the knockout stage was felt by fans and players alike, and the blame game began.
Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain, found himself under the harsh spotlight as the disappointment in Pakistan’s World Cup campaign unfolded. Critics and fans expressed their dissatisfaction with his leadership and his own batting performance. Babar, who was expected to be a pillar of strength for the team, struggled to deliver consistently throughout the tournament.
In the face of mounting criticism, there have been calls for Babar Azam to step down as Pakistan’s captain. The critics argue that a change in leadership might be the fresh start that the team needs after their World Cup campaign. One of the prominent voices in this discourse has been Ramiz Raja.
Ramiz Raja, a former cricketer and now a prominent cricket commentator, has been vocal about Pakistan‘s performance in the World Cup. Speaking on Test Match Special during England’s innings in Kolkata, Raja addressed the question of what Pakistan should do with Babar Azam after the competition.
Ramiz Raza feels that Babar Azam will step down as Pakistan’s captain
Raja’s response was thoughtful and indicative of the complex situation Pakistan faces. He acknowledged that Babar Azam had been going through a tough time, both on and off the field. The intense media scrutiny and backlash back home had taken a toll on the young captain.
Raja lamented the way the media had targeted certain players, especially Babar Azam, during the World Cup campaign. He highlighted that the media’s approach was not constructive and, at times, seemed cold-hearted.
Raza said: “He’s mulling over a few things. I had a chat with him yesterday and he’s depressed. I think, what has happened back home is obviously there’s been a massive backlash as expected but it’s the way they’ve targeted certain players, and especially Babar Azam, during the World Cup campaign is not great or has not been great. Our media can be absolutely cold-hearted.
He was down and out, Babar. But it’s the World Cup so you’ve got to take the heat somehow. You see the problem with this team is that it has the potential to play modern-day cricket, it’s just that they’ve been shy and they’ve been timid in their approach. A few of the players have been out of form as well… I think there’s a lot of pressure on him, and I think he has to decide himself what he wants to do.”
Babar Azam, despite the difficulties and criticism, scored a total of 282 runs in the tournament, with four half-centuries at an average of 40.28. While these numbers may not be extraordinary, they do indicate that he was not entirely out of form. However, for a player of his caliber, more was expected.
The pressure on Babar Azam has been immense. As the captain, he shoulders a significant burden, and the weight of expectations from fans and experts is substantial. Raja pointed out that Babar needs to decide for himself what his future holds, both as a captain and as a player.