'Selfish' Babar wrong choice as T20I captain: Latif

Former cricketer believes that top-order batsman is not a selfless leader

'Selfish' Babar wrong choice as T20I captain: Latif PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif has deemed top-order batsman Babar Azam’s appointment as Men in Green’s Twenty20 International (T20I) skipper a ‘wrong move’.

While speaking in a Youtube video, the former cricketer said that Babar has been used as a pawn to remove wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed from captaincy and can be damaging for his career.

“PCB didn’t do any homework or research before appointing Babar as captain,” said Latif. “They are using Babar to remove Sarfaraz from captaincy which can be damaging for Babar’s career.”

“Even if he does well individually, Pakistan team is likely to suffer,” he added.

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The 51-year-old believes that Babar is not a selfless leader as he preferred himself as an opener instead of wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Faisalabad.

“Sarfaraz used to sacrifice his batting position for the team’s cause whereas Babar doesn’t,” he said. “Babar could have played at one down while playing for Central Punjab as he is an established player, but instead he demoted Kamran to one-down position who does well as an opener in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).”

“That’s why Central Punjab is at the bottom and Balochistan are on top,” he added.

Latif also said that Babar’s appointment is likely to cause discord within the team.

“We have to see if Babar could build trust with his players as Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir might have had aspirations to lead the T20I side as well,” he said. “We have seen in the past that such things have caused huge problems in the team so it can be damaging to our cricket.”

Former wicketkeeper finally said that PCB should have waited till the Australia series as removing Sarfaraz after defeat in just three games wasn’t justified.

Latif also insinuated that Sarfaraz might have been punished for his decision to field first in an important game against arch-rivals India in the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.