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‘When you select players based on friendship…’: Ex-cricketer slams Babar Azam after Pakistan’s T20 World Cup debacle | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Before the start of the T20 World Cup 2024, not many would’ve imagined that Pakistan would not be able to get past a group that had teams such as Canada, the USA, India, and Ireland.
However, with Pakistan’s cricket team facing a premature and disappointing exit from the Twenty20 World Cup, widespread criticism from former stars and the media has followed, citing internal conflicts and questionable selection decisions as key factors.

ALSO SEE: T20 WORLD CUP 2024 Schedule | Points Table

The 2009 winners were eliminated in the first round, a historic low for the team, following an unexpected defeat to the USA and a loss to India, with their sole victory coming against Canada.

Allegations of team discord and favouritism in player selection were prominent throughout the tournament. Critics argued that relationships rather than performance metrics influenced the choice of players, notably in the selection of Shadab Khan over Usama Mir, despite Mir’s superior performance in the Pakistan Super League.
This decision, and others like it, drew ire from various quarters, including former player Kamran Akmal, who highlighted the issue of selecting players based on personal connections.
“When you select players based on friendship, you’ll get these results. Mir should have been in the squad… That was a big injustice,” Kamran Akmal told AFP.
“Pakistani players think that if they don’t perform well, the coaches will be sacked, and nothing will happen to them. It is time to keep the coaches and change the entire team,” former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said.
Pakistan’s preparation and performance in warm-up matches, including losses to Ireland and England and a draw against a weakened New Zealand team, further stressed the perceived mismanagement and poor strategic planning leading up to the World Cup.
The fallout from Pakistan’s early exit has been significant, with fans expressing their frustration and disillusionment. Calls for a comprehensive overhaul of both the team and its management have been widespread, with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Mohsin Naqvi saying, “Pakistan team needs a major surgery. We must endeavour to make the Pakistani cricket team one of the best in the world. The nation does not expect such a disappointing performance.”

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