Pakistan did not have a memorable ICC Cricket World Cup 2o23. They crashed out after suffering five defeats in their nine league-stage matches which included defeats against their Asian rivals India and Afghanistan. The Men In Green failed to perform in all aspects and had to face severe repercussions for the results, especially skipper Babar Azam.
Babar Azam resigned as the skipper of the Pakistan Men’s National Cricket Team and former Australia opener Matthew Hayden came in support of Babar Azam saying that his record as a captain is phenomenal. Firstly, Hayden talked about the issues that led to an early exit for Pakistan in the World Cup. He mentioned the absence of Naseem Shah as one of the reasons alongside the bad form of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Fakhar Zaman.
“Firstly, they didn’t have Naseem (Shah). They had, I believe some concerns over their world-class left-arm pacer. Shaheen came in, and we watched him closely during the Asia Cup, he was a little underdone. Fakhar Zaman didn’t really arrive at this tournament, and then when he did, it was probably too late for Pakistan,” said Matthew Hayden.
Watch- Matthew Hayden Explaining Pakistan’s Poor Show In The World Cup
“They’ve potentially shot the gun a little bit early in terms of his leadership capabilities”@haydostweets discusses Babar Azam stepping down as Pakistan’s captain 🗣 https://t.co/aXy2I16Ygu #CWC23 pic.twitter.com/8Rem4w8jtc
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 17, 2023
The Former Australian opener went on to add the poor show of spinners Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan who failed to create an impact. He also said that the main problem for Pakistan is not having a conducive high-performing culture.
“They had their spinners, Nawaz and Shadab, who both were finding it really difficult in 2023, firstly to retain their spot, which they didn’t in the World Cup. So there were lots of challenges in and around the actual setup. I always sense, that with Pakistan, it has never to do with the actual leadership of the group itself. It’s more just the overall game, having a structure that’s conducive to a high-performance culture which is the most challenging element, I feel, for Pakistan cricket,” he added.
The Former Australian Supports Babar Azam
Matthew Hayden then talked about Babar Azam’s performance as a captain and how the reaction shocked him. He mentioned Babar’s average being more than 50 as a captain and condemned the management for firing the gun way too early.
“Whoever was doing the numbers clearly wasn’t looking at them, when it came to Babar’s performances as non-captain and captain. He actually had better numbers as a captain. We’re talking an average of 50, plus more. So he was a natural leader, a good choice. I think they’ve potentially shot the gun a little bit early in terms of his leadership capabilities. He’s still a young player, a dominant player in World cricket. So I’m a little disappointed and a little shocked about the reaction,” Hayden concluded.
Pakistan will now face Australia in a three-match test series in Australia starting from December 2023. The Men in Green will have to get back up after their disappointing performance in the World Cup. Meanwhile, Australia and India will face each other in the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not announced the new skipper for Pakistan’s ODI team but there are speculations that Shaheen Afridi might take over the leadership role. Shaheen Shah Afridi is the captain of his PSL side Lahore Qalandars and has led his team to two consecutive PSL titles in 2022 and 2023.
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