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Shoaib Akhtar opposes Azhar’s removal as captain

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ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has opposed Azhar Ali’s removal from Test captaincy, saying the Lahore-born cricketer would give his 100 per cent in the upcoming matches.

Pakistan lost the first Test against England in Manchester despite being in a winning position and Azhar’s captaincy really came under fire from all quarters. According to reports, he is likely to be replaced by brilliant batsman Babar Azam as the new Test captain.

Shoaib said Azhar Ali should not be removed from the role after one bad game.

“I agree that Azhar Ali made a mistake in the second innings of the first Test against England, while fielding, for which he was rightly criticised. But to remove him from captaincy based on just that match would be unfair,” said Shoaib in his comments on a private tv channel. “I am sure he will give his 100 per cent in the upcoming matches.

“It is disappointing to see that it’s always the players who suffer in such a scenario while the management stays the same,” said Shoaib who is known to be a blunt critic of the PCB. “Babar is evolving as a captain. If Babar believes that he can lead the side in all three formats without jeopardising his batting form, then he should be made the captain, otherwise it is a gamble.”

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2020

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