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Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has urged captain Babar Azam not to become Sarfaraz Ahmed part two.
This comes after Azam wanted spinner Yasir Shah included in the Test squad for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, but the selectors ignored him.
He also asked for batsman Haris Sohail to be in the ODI team, but once again, the selectors didn’t listen.
In fact, it was reported that chief selector Mohammad Wasim told Azam that the squad selection was not his concern.
Azam is understood to have fired back at Wasim, saying it does concern him as he is the captain and is held accountable if the team doesn’t perform well.
Given the current situation, Akhtar advised Azam to resign as captain right now and avoid falling into the same trap Sarfaraz found himself in.
“We are hearing that Babar Azam is calling [the Pakistan Cricket Board] and saying that his suggestions have been ignored regarding [the] squad selection,” Akhtar said on PTV Sports as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“If Babar Azam is so hurt and wants to be become a brand, then he should resign right now and send a message that this can’t happen again. If he doesn’t do this, then he will become Sarfaraz part two.”
Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan will depart for South Africa on March 26 and the tour will commence on April 2 and conclude on April 16. The ODI series will be played first.
The men in green will then head to Zimbabwe on April 17, but the dates for the matches have yet to be confirmed.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) noted that the national team will travel back to Lahore from Bulawayo on May 12.
Pakistan’s Test Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.
Pakistan’s ODI Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.
Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.