The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 witnessed Pakistan facing an unexpected and humbling exit in the group stages, winning only 4 out of 9 games. This shocking turn of events led to widespread criticism, with the spotlight squarely on Babar Azam’s captaincy. Despite captaining five multi-nation tournaments, including three ICC Cricket World Cups, Azam failed to secure any trophies, intensifying the scrutiny on his leadership.
Under the mounting pressure, Babar Azam made a significant decision on the last day—relinquishing his captaincy duties. This move sent shockwaves through the cricketing world, prompting speculation about the internal dynamics of the team.
In response to Azam’s departure, Pakistan swiftly announced Shaheen Shah Afridi as the T20I captain and Shan Masood as the test captain. Shaheen Shah Afridi, with a successful track record leading his PSL team, Lahore Qalandars, to victory, brings a fresh perspective to the captaincy.
The aftermath of Azam’s decision saw an unexpected twist as Pakistani cricket fans expressed their discontent. Many are bashing Shaheen Shah Afridi, alleging that he secured the captaincy due to internal politics, specifically citing his father-in-law, Shahid Afridi. Shahid Afridi, a former Pakistan all-rounder and captain, is accused of exerting undue influence, leading to Babar Azam stepping down.
While fans criticise the decision, it’s essential to acknowledge Shaheen Shah Afridi’s cricketing achievements. His leadership role at Lahore Qalandars, culminating in a PSL title, demonstrates his ability to guide a team to success. It’s crucial to separate personal affiliations from professional accomplishments when evaluating the captaincy appointment.
Understanding the sentiment of the Pakistani cricket fan base is crucial in comprehending the controversy. Babar Azam, a beloved figure, has a massive following, and any change in leadership will naturally be met with resistance. However, it’s imperative to evaluate the new leadership based on their capabilities rather than succumbing to speculation and conspiracy theories.
Babar Azam is obviously a fan favorite in Pakistan. Many Pakistani fans are bashing Sahheen for internal politics. They are alleging that Shaheen got the captaincy just because of the internal influence of his father-in-law, Shahid Afridi, who is a former Pakistan all-rounder and captain. They are blaming Shahid Afridi for playing politics, which led to Babar Azam stepping down
As the new T20I captain, Shaheen Shah Afridi has an opportunity to shape the team’s future positively. His success in the PSL indicates a knack for strategic captaincy, and fans should give him a fair chance to prove his leadership on the international stage.
Pakistan Fans Are Blaming Shahid Afridi For Baba Azam’s Captaincy Step Down
— Hassan (@HassanAbbasian) November 13, 2023
Babar Azam As Pakistan Captain
113 Matches 78 Won 43 Lost W/L Ratio 1.81
Shahid Afridi As Pakistan Captain
82 Matches 38 Won 42 Lost W/L Ratio 0.90
— Zubair Ghaffary⁵⁶🇵🇰 (@ZubairGhaffary) November 16, 2023