Babar Azam urged to follow Graeme Smith’s example


Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith (left), Pakistan captain Babar Azam. — AFP/Reuters

Wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal has counselled captain Babar Azam to follow the example of former South Africa captain Graeme Smith.

Smith was the first skipper to captain more than 100 Test matches and was given the captaincy at the age of 22. The Proteas rose to prominence as a cricketing powerhouse under his direction.

“Babar Azam is a great batter but there are still question marks over his captaincy. He should be more confident as captain while also improving his body language. He has been captain for three years and its time to deliver,” Akmal said while speaking to the media on Sunday in Lahore.

“It is a World Cup year which is why he should be more aggressive as captain. Graeme Smith was also young when he was made captain. I think Babar should take a leaf out of Smith’s book,” he added.

Azam was allegedly being targeted, according to former cricketer Misbah Ul Haq, amid rumours of a potential change in the national team captain.

Misbah, who previously held the positions of the head coach and top selector for Pakistan, expressed disappointment with the rumours surrounding Azam’s captaincy.

“The way Babar Azam has been targeted is not right. No matter who is the captain, a change should only be made after assessing things thoroughly. Decisions should not be taken just for the sake of putting pressure on others,” Misbah told reporters in Lahore on Sunday.

It must be noted that Azam is currently gearing up for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight, where he will lead his new team Peshawar Zalmi, which begins on February 13 in Multan.


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