Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
After initially criticising Babar Azam for his poor captaincy, Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has backtracked and called for the 28-year-old to be supported.
Hafeez had earlier said the 28-year-old’s “captaincy is like a sacred cow that cannot be criticised”.
However, the 42-year-old has now changed his tone and feels that everyone needs to stand by Azam as he navigates through a difficult period.
He added that it’s easy to criticise players, but pointed out that Azam is trying his best, especially when considering that he doesn’t have much experience captaining a team in domestic cricket.
“He (Babar) never led a side in domestic cricket for this long. He has been given this role and has been trying his best. All he needs is support and the team management should be there to stand by him. It is easy to sit outside and criticise player but very difficult to rectify those mistakes,” Hafeez was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Hafeez is currently part of the Quetta Gladiators squad for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after being drafted in as a replacement for Ahsan Ali.
In the four matches he has played, he has amassed 91 runs at an average of 30.33 and a strike-rate of 144.44.
As for Azam, he is captaining the Peshawar Zalmi and has accumulated 175 runs in five matches, which includes two fifties, at an average of 44.50 and a strike-rate of 130.88.
The Zalmi’s next match will be against the Karachi Kings on March 1, while the Gladiators will be back in action on March 2 when they taken on the Lahore Qalandars.
Quetta Gladiators Squad for PSL 8: Mohammad Nawaz, Iftikhar Ahmed, Jason Roy, Mohammad Hasnain, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Naveen ul Haq, Umar Akmal, Will Smeed, Naseem Shah, Odean Smith, Mohammad Hafeez, Umaid Asif, Muhammad Zahid, Abdul Bangalzai, Aimal Khan, Martin Guptill, Omair Bin Yousuf, Qais Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Dwaine Pretorius (partial replacement for Odean Smith), Will Jacks (partial replacement for Jason Roy), Nuwan Thushara (partial replacement for Naveen ul Haq)
Peshawar Zalmi Squad for PSL 8: Babar Azam, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Haris, Aamir Jamal, Salman Irshad, Tom-Kohler Cadmore, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Rovman Powell, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Danish Aziz, Arshad Iqbal, Saim Ayub, Usman Qadir, Suifyan Muqeem, Haseebullah, Jimmy Neesham, Khurram Shahzad, Haris Sohail, Richard Gleeson (partial replacement for Rovman Powell), Peter Hatzoglou (partial replacement for Mujeeb ur Rahman), Shakib Al Hasan (available for playoffs), Azmatullah Omarzai