Pakistan captain Babar Azam has responded to the harsh statement made by former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar about the current performance of the visitors against the hosts England.
In the third and final ODI at Edgbaston, Babar’s record knock went in vain as his side lost the high-scoring encounter and the three-match series to a second-string England side.
Reacting on Pakistan’s clean sweep in the ODIs, Akhtar, on his YouTube channel, termed Men in Green’s performance as “shameful” and added that the fan following of his nation’s cricket team will never grow if the players continue to perform like this.
“It’s a shameful performance. Our board is average. It brings average people, the management is average so obviously, they are going to build an average team. You can’t expect extraordinary things from average people. It’s wrong for you to expect,” Akhtar said.
“Crowd is coming to the ground but after watching such performances, the fan following will never grow. There is no star to inspire the youngsters. Then how can you bring the next Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi or Wasim Akram? You have to build brand,” he added.
Humiliating 3-0 defeat for Pakistan. Every summer we go to England to get results like this.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) July 13, 2021
Now, Babar has hit back at Akhtar and said that all players are giving their 100 percent.
“I think he [Shoaib Akhtar] doesn’t think so, but all the players are giving their 100 percent everywhere. I think you should ask him who a star is and who isn’t. I can’t argue or give comments on this,” Babar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
The 26-year-old also talked about his team’s dismal performance in the recently-concluded series and blamed both bowling and fielding for their embarrassing defeat in the Edgbaston ODI.
“In the first two matches, our batting let us down. We lost early wickets in the first ten overs. We didn’t have momentum because of that. I have said it before as well that we lost the match today because of bowling and fielding,” said the Lahore-born cricketer.