Former pacer believes Azhar Ali received unfair treatment by PCB
Former star fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that batsman Azhar Ali was forced to become the Test captain by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The Lahore-born took over the reins of the Test team from wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed last year and he may find himself on the chopping block soon after coming under criticism for his performances and leadership skills.
Akhtar, in an interview with a local television channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan, claimed that the right-handed batsman was made to lead the side by the cricket board and is now being put under the coche.
“Azhar didn’t want to be the Test captain in the first place,” the Rawalpindi Express said while talking with a local television channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan. “The responsibility was forced upon him. They [PCB] are unnecessarily putting pressure on him. Now he is about to be replaced.”
The 45-year-old further stated that were was no point in sticking to the leadership role in such circumstances.
Former captain and legendary fast-bowler Wasim Akram, who is a member of the PCB’s Cricket Committee, openly criticised the batsman’s leadership skills during commentary on the recent England tour.
“It will hurt the Pakistan team and the cricket lovers in Pakistan. Winning and losing is part of cricket, but I think our captain missed a trick quite a few times in this game, as far as his leadership is concerned,” he said.
Earlier, cricket website ESPNcricinfo reported that Azhar’s performance as captain is being evaluated whereas the names of batsman Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan are being considered for the role.