Pakistan Captain Babar Azam has reportedly been asked by the chairman-nominate Ramiz Raja to focus on his batting instead of captaincy.
The development reported came up when the former approached the latter regarding his reservations on Pakistan’s squad for T20 World Cup 2021.
Ramiz is set to take up the chairmanship of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on September 13 when the board of governors formally elect him on the post. He, along with Asad Ali Khan had been nominated by Prime Minister Imran Khan as his representative on the board.
Historically, one of the PM-nominated members is chosen as the board chairman.
According to media reports, when Babar expressed reservations over the squad, Ramiz instead of taking his advice, asked him to focus on his batting, which is on the downside of the graph.
He also suggested the skipper to step down from the Test captaincy so that he could focus on his batting. According to reports, the dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan might replace him in the longest format.
On the other hand, sources privy to the matter said that Babar told Ramiz he was comfortable handling both responsibilities and he has been doing reasonably well. To which, Ramiz asked him to continue on the post but cautioned him that if the captaincy pressure caused a slump in his batting form then he would be asked to pass it on to his deputy, Muhammad Rizwan.
It should be noted that Ramiz Raja, who is set to become the next PCB chairman next week, wants an overhaul of Pakistan cricket. In this regard, he held a meeting with the Pakistan cricket team’s ODI squad which is set to undergo quarantine in Islamabad from September 8, and asked them to play fearless cricket.
“Don’t pay attention to the changes in the cricket board; Focus on cricket,” Ramiz advised players during the meeting.
The meeting, also attended by the interim coaches, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq, was called at the request of Ramiz at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore.
“The team is being provided with a great cricketing environment. You can play cricket fearlessly. Modern cricket requires you to be aggressive.
He advised players to adapt the modern-day cricket and try and dominate the game from the start.
He said that the coaches and every support staff, including him, will guide them and provide every support they require to bring about the change.
Raja said each player will be defined his role and no additional pressure will be put on any player.
The former captain-turned cricket commentator said he has high hopes from the T20 World Cup squad.
“I have high hopes from the same squad, all the players give their 100% in the World Cup, the upcoming series is important, you are all talented, and you have a lot of potential.”
Pakistan is set to face New Zealand in a three-match ODI series from September 15 in Rawalpindi, followed by a five-match T20I series in Lahore.