PAK vs NZ Semi-Final: Babar Azam Slammed Former Pakistan Cricketers Over Criticism
Pakistan cricket team staged a remarkable comeback to seal their spot for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022. The Men in Green had started their tournament with the worst possible note by losing at the hands of the arch-rivals Indian cricket team. The team was in dire straits after suffering back-to-back last-over defeats in the Super 12 round versus India and Zimbabwe. However, they showed great character and impeccable fighting spirit and registered wins against the Netherlands, South Africa, and Bangladesh.
Notably, the results of some other teams also went in the favor of the Babar Azam-led side, because of which they made it to the semi-final. In the semi-final clash against New Zealand, Pakistan put on a clinical performance in the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final on Wednesday (November 9) to book their tickets for the final showdown.
All thanks to the mesmerizing spells from Shaheen Afridi (2-24), Naseem Shah (0-30), and Haris Rauf (0-32), Pakistan was able to restrict the Kane Williamson-led side to 152/4 in 20 overs. In reply, Pakistan got off to a terrific start, riding on the knocks of Babar Azam (53 off 42 balls) and Mohammad Rizwan (57 off 43 balls) for the opening wicket. Following their dismissal, Mohammad Haris slammed 26-ball 30 while batting at No. 3.
After the game, captain Babar Azam addressed the press conference, where he slammed the critics. He spoke in detail about the criticism he and Rizwan faced from the former Pakistan cricketers when they were going through a rough patch.
Azam was asked whether the team management thought about sending him at No.3, which was suggested by the cricket experts amid Babar’s lean patch. Responding to this, Azam said:
"Mere khyaal se zehen me aisa kuch nahi tha. Ham apne waqt ka wait kar rahe the. Ye cricket hai, aap koshish karte hain ki aap har match me perform karein. Par ups and downs chalte rehte hain. Tanqeed sab hi karte hain, ham achha bhi karte hain toh vo karte hain. Ye jeet aap enjoy karein, Pakistan me jo aawam hai, aur jo yahan pe crowd tha, vo bhi enjoy karein, aur jo TV pe baithe hain, vo bhi enjoy karein."
(which roughly translates to: No, we didn't think like that. We were just waiting for our time. You try to perform in every game but ups and downs are part of the game. Everybody criticises, even if we perform well. Now, just enjoy the win, Pakistan fans should enjoy this and those sitting in television channels should also do the same),
Speaking about the criticism that he received from former Pakistan cricketers, Babar Azam said he has no issues as long as it isn't personal. He said:
“Agar aapko tanqeed kar raha hai… vo mujhe nahi, meri team ko kar rahe the. Har ek ka apna opinion hota hai, lekin personal nahi hona chahiye. Achhi tanqeed karenge toh har banda dekhta hai. Aap bhi karte hain, par aap har cheez ko dekhke karte hain. Personal hona... ham kuch nahi kar sakte. Bas enjoy karein ki ham final me pohoch gaye."
(which roughly translates to: My team was being criticised. Everyone has their opinion, but you shouldn't get personal. If it's productive criticism, everyone listens. You also criticise us, but you see everything. We can't do anything if they get personal. Let's just enjoy that we have reached the final)