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No pressure of losing, PCB has assured me long-term captaincy: Babar Azam

The prolific batsman was adamant that there were no groupings within the national side

PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam, while talking to media personnel in Lahore on Friday, revealed that he was not threatened of being removed from captaincy if the side lost the upcoming series against New Zealand as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had assured the prolific batsman that he would be backed as the leader of the Men in Green for the long haul.

The 26-year-old stated that he had learned a lot from white-ball cricket along with veteran cricketers such as Azhar Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed.

“We are continuously playing cricket. We have gained a lot of confidence from our victories and that is why we are hopeful for a good showing against New Zealand. You are always under pressure in international cricket. When I was announced as the white-ball captain, there was pressure. Challenges come your way and you accept them,” said Babar.

“I have learned a lot through white-ball cricket and players such as Sarfaraz Ahmed and Azhar Ali. The team relies on me and I try to take responsibility when our side is batting. The real joy of cricket is playing under pressure. I enjoy playing cricket. I am not threatened that I will be removed if we lose against New Zealand. I have been given complete confidence from management and a free hand in decision-making,” he added.

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The prolific batsman was adamant that there were no groupings within the national side and the whole team is a tightly knit unit.

“There are no problems with regards to grouping in the team. Everyone supports and respects each other. The team is filled with youngsters and there are no problems with grouping whatsoever. Everyone sits together and supports their teammates. There are no groups; the entire team is one group,” he said.

“All players can’t perform in every match. The ones who are not performing need to be backed. When I was not performing well in Test cricket, Mickey Arthur backed and supported me a lot. This greatly benefitted me. I have continued to improve from thereon. I will try for big innings in New Zealand as well. We will all try our best and the result is in God’s hands,” he added.