Ramiz Raja critical of Babar Azam’s captaincy: You need to keep friendships aside

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has lashed out at current captain Babar Azam and the team management for selecting veteran players like Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in their T20 squad.

Ramiz Raja feels Pakistan’s selection policy seems to be directionless at the moment and called for the skipper and selectors to be ruthless in their approach when it comes to the shortest format.

“I think to get the direction, we need to be ruthless. I remember when Imran Khan had become the leader, he had a net of experienced players surrounding him.

“I don’t want to take names, but there were 5-6 players who could have played for one or two years. He got rid of all of them and just kept Javed Miandad and built a young team. We had a very young team in the 1992 World Cup,” Raja said on the show Cric Cast.

Raja is puzzled as to why the team has selected 39-year-old Mohammad Hafeez and 38-year-old Malik as the format calls for younger players, and especially when two T20 World Cups have to be played in the next two years.

“And there is a hotchpotch situation, on one side side we have made Babar Azam the captain and the on other side we have picked two individuals who are almost 40 years old. So, I am not understanding what direction we are trying to take.

I agree Hafeez had an outstanding, I would say honeymoon period and if he serves Pakistan like this then no one would have any problem. But pressure would get created on him eventually and if we don’t prepare his replacement, then you will again appear reluctant in blooding youth,” Raja said.

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Vishwas Gupta