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Iftikhar considers criticizing Babar Azam ‘sin’

Iftikhar Ahmed, a Quetta Gladiators player, called criticizing national team captain Babar Azam a “sin” and said that anyone who criticizes Babar should first become a “great player” like him.

This cricketer believes that criticizing Babar Azam is a sin.

During a recent interview, a journalist asked Ahmed about the criticism levelled at Babar’s captaincy, to which he responded:

“I believe it is a sin to criticize a player like Babar Azam. There is no player like Babar in the cricket that we have played or that is currently being played around the world.”

He further added that a person who criticizes Babar should “first check his own level to see if is at par with Babar”.

“Anyone who criticizes Babar should become a [great] cricketer like Babar first.”

Earlier, the national side’s vice-captain Shadab Khan also defended the skipper calling him a “bigger diamond than Kohinoor”.

“I think we’re doing injustice with such a diamond,” Shadab said in an interview with a local television station. Pakistan has been endowed with a large diamond. He [Babar] is even more valuable than Kohinoor.

“People who doubt him as a captain or leader astound me. He is Pakistan’s most important player. Our country should respect him in the same way that we respect him on the team.”

Criticism on Babar

In T20 cricket, Babar is frequently chastised for his low strike rate. Some cricket analysts and fans also question his captaincy decisions on the field.

Pakistan also failed to win a single Test match at home last year under Babar’s captaincy and was defeated 2-1 by New Zealand in a three-match ODI series earlier this year.

However, the right-handed batter led Pakistan to the semifinals of two consecutive T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022 where they finished runners-up.

Recently, cricket legend Shahid Afridi said that the Peshawar Zalmi skipper had not yet “proved himself a match-winner”.

While heaping praises on Babar, Afridi, who recently served as the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) interim chief selector, called him the number-one player in the world but opined that he is “yet to put on some match-winning performances”.

Previously, former seamer Shoaib Akhtar, known as the Rawalpindi Express for his lightning-quick bowling, chastised Babar, saying the skipper needed to improve his oratory skills. Akhtar also claimed that Babar has yet to establish himself as a “brand” in Pakistan.

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