Shahid Afridi Slams PCB Over Babar Azam’s Captaincy: Calls for Transparency

Shahid Afridi Slams PCB Over Babar Azam’s Captaincy: Calls for Transparency
(Photo by Philip Brown via Getty Images)

Pakistani cricket icon Shahid Afridi has launched a stinging assault on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), accusing the governing body of exhibiting partiality towards current captain Babar Azam.

In a recent interview, the former all-rounder did not mince his words as he attacked the PCB’s management of the national team and its leadership. Afridi’s statements have caused a significant issue, highlighting the internal power dynamics and alleged preferential treatment inside Pakistani cricket.

Afridi’s Criticism of Babar Azam’s Captaincy

At the core of Afridi’s criticisms is his conviction that Babar Azam, Pakistan’s batting sensation and current captain across all three formats, has been allowed unprecedented liberty and protection by the PCB despite disappointing performances.

“I haven’t seen a captain getting so many chances,” Afridi stated plainly. “No captain in the past has received this level of support and patience from the board.”

The 43-year-old former captain went on to claim that Babar’s job looks to be safe regardless of his team’s results, a luxury not provided to previous skippers.

“Look at the results – the team isn’t performing, but the captain’s position seems untouchable,” Afridi bemoaned. “I want to see if any other captain would have gotten this kind of treatment from the board.”

Hints of Favoritism and Lack of Accountability

Afridi’s words refer to a culture of favoritism and a lack of responsibility inside the PCB’s top structure. He insinuated that Babar’s tight connection with the board’s top brass had insulated him from the repercussions of poor outcomes.

“A captain’s position is always vulnerable, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here,” Afridi observed sharply. “One has to wonder why the same standards are not being applied to the current captain.”

The veteran all-rounder’s statements have been regarded by many as a veiled charge of nepotism and improper influence inside the PCB’s decision-making procedures.

Calls for Transparent Selection Policies

Afridi’s harsh criticism also extended to the PCB’s larger selection methods, which he says lack openness and impartiality. He suggested that the board’s decisions are frequently swayed by issues beyond basic cricketing quality.

“The selection criteria need to be clearly defined and equally applied to all players,” Afridi added. “There should be no room for favoritism or personal biases to creep in.”

The former captain’s words have struck a chord with many Pakistani cricket fans, who have long raised concerns about the lack of accountability and justice in the national team’s management.

PCB’s Response and Wider Implications

The PCB has yet to release a formal reaction to Afridi’s stinging statements. However, the incident has sparked a larger discussion about the need for changes and increased openness inside the country’s cricket governing body.

Afridi’s vocal criticism of the PCB and Babar Azam’s leadership has the potential to further damage the relationship between the former players and the present administration. It remains to be seen if this experience will trigger any serious reforms in the way Pakistani cricket is administered and regulated.