‘Captain matters…’: Former Pakistan pacer hits out at Babar Azam, counters Ramiz Raja’s call for ‘system change’

Pakistan captain Babar Azam is in the headlines after the team’s dismal performance at the ICC Men’s Cup 2023, where they finished fifth and missed out on a semi-final berth for the third time in a row.

Moreover, it became the first time that Pakistan lost five matches in a single edition of the World Cup, four of which were played in a row.

Although Babar received considerable support from former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raj, who called for a “system change” in place of the captain, former Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir launched a fiery speech at Raza.

READ ALSO: ‘You can’t scapegoat Babar’: Wasim Akram critics blame for Pakistan’s flawed cricket system

Disagree with Raz’s call for ‘change in the system’, Amir, during the show’Haarana Mana Hay’ on the Geo newsAttacking both Raza and Babar, Amit said that captaincy matters more than what makes up the members of the PCB management. Amir even gave examples of Pakistan winning the 1992 World Cup under Imran Khan, winning the T20 World Cup in 2009 and beating India in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.

“Captain matters. What is the system? It is not a wall. Five and six people have been given the responsibility of leading Pakistan cricket. One of them is the captain. In 1992 under Imran Khan, we won the World Cup and the system was the same. In In 1999, our team was the world champion, reaching the final. In 2009, we won the T20 World Cup with the same system and in 2017, we won the Champions Trophy with the same system.” HT cited Geo News where Amir made his comments.

READ ALSO: ICC World Cup 2023: Pakistan’s Babar Azam set to step down as captain in white-ball format, details here

Furthermore, the former Pakistan pacer gave an example of how England managed to bounce back from a terrible exit from the 2015 World Cup to win the trophy in 2019 under the leadership of Eoin Morgan.

“Babar has been the captain for the last four years. He built his team himself. Buttler is not part of our system, so why did England play so badly? Does the system in England also need to be overhauled? After the 2015 debacle, Morgan said I want to play this brand of cricket, I want these 25 players. The system remained the same, it was the captain who changed the mindset. England struggled in Test cricket for two years. Joe Root was the captain. The system is the same but we say that English Test cricket has changed. It was Ben Stokes who changed his approach,” he said.

“Unless the captain’s mindset changes, the system can’t do anything. It was the system that told him not to play Abrar Ahmad or bench Fakhar after the first match,” Amir added.

Dhoni recalls:

Amir even mentioned former Indian captain and legendary player Mahendra Singh Dhoni to elaborate on how Ravindra Jadeja has molded one of the premier all-rounders across formats.

“We say Dhoni changed Indian cricket but he never changed the system. People kept saying how long he was giving Jadeje and Ashwin chances. And now we say that Jadeja is the best all-rounder in the world. MS Dhoni gave them a team,” said Amir.

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