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‘Respect Should Remain Constant For Everyone’: Babar Azam Rubbishes Rumours of Rift With Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Afridi and Babar Azam (AFP Image)

Shaheen Afridi and Babar Azam (AFP Image)

Babar Azam also talked about the absence of Naseem Shah and said they will miss his services, especially with the new ball.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam quashed rumours of an alleged rift with teammate and senior paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi and said that players love each other as much as they do their family. The rumours were rife that Babar and Shaheen had a heated argument after Pakistan’s exit from the Asia Cup 2023 where Pakistan failed to reach the final after suffering defeats to India and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage.

A report in BolNews stated that the Pakistan skipper expressed his displeasure with the performances of the senior players. Babar urged them to perform better. Meanwhile, it claimed that Shaheen retaliated and told Babar that he should at least praise those players who had bowled and batted well.

Also Read | Sri Lanka Announce Final Squad for ODI World Cup 2023, Wanindu Hasaranga Misses Out

Meanwhile, Babar has put a rest to all the rumours and said it was a regular team meeting.

“Respect is given to everyone. You see, whenever the match is close and we lose, it’s just a regular meeting, but sometimes it’s portrayed as if we had a fight. It shouldn’t be like that. Respect should remain constant for everyone. We love each other as much as we do our family,” Babar said in a press conference before leaving for India for the 2023 ODI World Cup.

The Pakistan captain also talked about the absence of Naseem Shah and said they will miss his services, especially with the new ball as he has formed a leathly duo alongside Shaheen Afridi in recent times.

“Of course, we will miss Naseem Shah as Shaheen [Afridi] and Naseem bowling together gave us a different edge,” Babar continued.

He said that it was a tough decision to find Naseem’s replacement and the team went ahead with Hasan Ali considering his experience.

“It was not easy to pick his replacement, but we all sat together and got input from [chief selector] Inzamam ul Haq. We went with Hasan Ali because he has experience. He has played the World Cup before. I cannot comment who will bowl the new ball or the old ball, as we cannot reveal our strategies right now,” he added.

Babar further suggested that they will finalise their team combination after reaching India and assessing the conditions.

“But we have not made any concrete plans right now, it will become more clear to us when we travel to India and assess the conditions.”

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