Wasim Akram, the legendary Pakistani cricketer, recently advised Babar Azam to reconsider captaining in league cricket due to the undue stress it brings. In a conversation with a local sports platform, Akram emphasized that Babar, as a prominent player, should focus on enjoying the game, scoring runs, and steering clear of additional pressure.
“I had given an idea to Babar Azam a couple of years ago: don’t take up captaincy in league cricket. As a big player, focus on your game, performances, and then move on to the next event. Pakistan’s captaincy is manageable, but leagues add unnecessary stress,” Akram conveyed.
Echoing similar sentiments, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir highlighted the impact of captaincy stress on Azam during the World Cup and expressed anticipation for witnessing Azam’s prowess following his decision to step down from captaincy.
“I had backed Babar Azam before the World Cup, predicting he’d be the top batter. However, the captaincy burden affected him. Now, you’ll see the real Babar Azam, unseen by many. He has the potential to become the best batter Pakistan has ever produced,” Gambhir remarked.
Gambhir further elaborated that winning the Pakistan Super League (PSL) might not necessarily contribute significantly to Babar’s illustrious career.
“Winning the PSL won’t significantly impact Babar Azam’s career. He has tremendous potential to become Pakistan’s finest batter,” Gambhir emphasized.
Additionally, Gambhir highlighted the decade-long career ahead for Azam without the constraints of captaincy pressure.
“At 29, Babar has another decade of cricket ahead, now without the stress of captaincy,” Gambhir concluded.
On November 15th, Babar Azam stepped down from captaincy in all formats following discussions with Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee.
The counsel from cricketing stalwarts Akram and Gambhir offers insights into Babar Azam’s decision to relinquish league captaincy, potentially paving the way for an enhanced performance on the cricket field.