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Babar Azam is the future captain of Pakistan: Qadir

Former Pakistan cricketer believe top-order batsman should be groomed for leadership role

PHOTO: FILE

Former Pakistan cricketer Abdul Qadir has said that top-order batsman Babar Azam will lead the Pakistan side in future.

While talking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Qadir emphasised the need to groom Babar for captaincy, so that he can be ready when the time comes to lead the side.

“The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should appoint Babar Azam as the vice-captain and prepare him for captaincy, as he is almost certain to lead Pakistan in future,” said Qadir. “PCB should introduce a system of appointing vice-captains which was missing during the tenure of previous captains like Misbahul Haq and Mohammad Hafeez.”

Qadir criticized the PCB for not making use of experienced pacer Wahab Riaz and instead selecting a rookie pacer Mohammad Hasnain for the International Cricket Council (ICC) 2019 World Cup.

“Wahab Riaz should have been preferred over Hasnain as he is more experienced and can bowl at the same speed as Hasnain,” he said. “Hasnain should have been groomed first, instead of being fast-tracked into the side.”

Abdul Qadir was also not happy with PCB ignoring players like wicketkeeper-batsmen Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal, who can prove to be game changers and solve Pakistan’s problem of lack of power hitters.

“Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal are being ignored despite performing well in the recently concluded season of HBL Pakistan Super League,” he said. “Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal can change the course of the match single-handedly and can play the role of power hitters.”

The 63-year-old blamed the weather for poor performance of leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the One-day Internationals (ODI) against England.

“The weather in England is currently not conducive for spin bowling as it is difficult to grip the ball,” he said. “As the season progresses and pitches get dry, Yasir can come into play and prove to be our trump card.”

Speaking about Pakistan’s chances at the upcoming World Cup, Abdul Qadir said that he is hopeful of a strong showing from Pakistan in the mega event.

“Pakistan team should forget their poor performance in the previous series against Australia and enter the tournament with renewed confidence, as the entire country is backing them to do well.”