T20 WC: Babar leaves captaincy issue to PCB

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 17, 2024 IST

Babar Azam

Lauderhill, June 17: Pakistan are extra emotional when it comes to losing a cricket match to India. In recent past, they have been struggling to beat their formidable neighbours.

Though both nations hardly play each other these days, with no bilateral series between them, but in multi-nation ICC tournaments, an Indo-Pak match becomes a high octane clash. 

In the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, India snatched victory from the claws of defeat, much to Pakistan's agony. The low-scoring Group A match turned into a serious battle of nerves, with Pakistan failing once again to cross the line against their arch rivals in an ICC World Cup.

But that was not all. Pakistan were shocked by co-hosts USA, who staged the biggest upset in the T20 World Cup 2024 by outplaying Babar Azam's boys.

With a consolation victory against Ireland in their last Group A match, Pakistan ended their campaign, without qualifying for the Super Eight stage of the tournament. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), former players and fans have flayed the team for their lacklustre show. The PCB has already stated that actions are due. If that happens, Babar's captaincy may be discussed again.

However, Azam has expressed his willingness to make a decision about his future as captain only after a thorough review with the PCB, after significant scrutiny following the team's early exit from T20 World Cup 2024.

Pakistan finished in the third position with four points in Group A, India with seven points and USA with five points progressed to the Super Eight stage.

"When I gave up the captaincy (in 2023), I thought that I shouldn't be doing it now, that's why I left it and I announced it myself," Babar said at the post-match press conference.

"Then when they gave it back to me, it was the decision of the PCB. When I go back, we will discuss all that has happened here. And if I have to leave the captaincy, I will announce it openly. I will not hide behind anything. Whatever happens will happen in the open. But for now, I have not thought about it. It is eventually PCB's decision," he said.

Babar, facing repeated inquiries about taking responsibility for the team's performance, emphasised the collective nature of their failure. "I told you that we did not lose this because of one particular person. We win and lose as a team. You are pointing out that [I am] the captain, but I cannot play in every player's place. There are 11 players, and each of them has a role. That's why they came here to play the World Cup."

Reflecting on the team's underwhelming performance, Babar acknowledged their shortcomings. "We accept that we didn't play according to the expectations. The kind of team we had, the experience we had, we haven't been able to deliver at different times. As a player and as a captain, I am not going to single (anyone) out. The fault lies with all 15. We will sit and review. As a captain, my responsibility is to give my feedback to the decision-makers."

When pressed further about who should bear the blame; captain, coach, or selectors, Babar said, "You can't put the blame on one person. We didn't play well as a team. We did well in patches. Everybody is disappointed. We are as disappointed as the fans. It is not one individual's fault."

Pakistan hired former India 2011 ODI World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten as their white-ball head coach prior to the T20 World Cup 2024. 

Though in the past, Pakistan have changed coaches after failures in major ICC tournaments, but this time several former cricketers have suggested that the onus must lie with the players and not a new coach, who took up the job recently. (With IANS support) 

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