Updated June 10th, 2024 at 23:31 IST

Ex-Pakistan captain accuses Imad Wasim of underplaying against India due to issues with Babar Azam

Another former captain Shahid Afridi feels all is not well in the Pakistan dressing room and some players have issues with skipper Babar Azam.

Babar Azam and Imad Wasim | Image:X
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Former skipper Salim Malik has accused Imad Wasim of intentionally slowing down the innings during Pakistan's six-run defeat to arch-rivals India in the T20 World Cup 2024 in New York. In pursuit of a modest 120-run target, Pakistani batters struggled, playing 59 dot balls and finishing at 113 for 7 on Sunday.

Imad Wasim's contribution was notably sluggish, taking 23 balls to score just 15 runs, which significantly hindered the team's chase. The rest of the Pakistani batting lineup also faltered, with all but two batters and bowler Naseem Shah failing to maintain a strike rate above 100.

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"You look at his (Wasim) innings and it appears as if he was wasting balls not scoring runs and making things difficult in the run-chase," Salim Malik said on 24 News channel.

Shahid Afridi suspects something is wrong in the Pakistan dressing room

Another former captain Shahid Afridi feels all is not well in the Pakistan dressing room and some players have issues with skipper Babar Azam.

"A captain brings everyone together, either he spoils the team environment or he builds the team. Let this World Cup finish, and I will speak openly," said Afridi.

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"I have such a relationship with Shaheen (Afridi) that if I talk about him, people will say I am favouring my son-in-law," he added.

Afridi's daughter is married to left-arm pacer Shaheen, who was removed as T20 captain just before the World Cup after just one series in New Zealand.

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Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar minced no words in criticising Pakistan's below-par performance, saying the Babar Azam-led side doesn't deserve to be in the Super Eight stage.

"I think I should have a template text. Disappointed & hurt automatically set to be posted. The whole nation is down and out. Morale is down. Somehow you have to show intent to win. Do Pakistan deserve to be out of Super Eight? God knows," Akhtar said in a video message on 'X'.

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Annoyed by Pakistan's ability to self destruct, legendary pacer Wasim Akram slammed the players' lack of match awareness.

"Pakistan cricket doesn't need enemies, they themselves are enough," Akram said on Star Sports.

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"Do we need to tell them about situation awareness? These guys have been playing for the past 8-10 years." On a tricky pitch, Mohammad Rizwan was playing the anchor role until Jasprit Bumrah returned for his second spell and the opener inexplicably decided to swing his bat only to be bowled throwing Pakistan under the bus.

"Should I tell Rizwan that the main bowlers has come for one over to take wicket, so handle him? You haven't scored a single boundary after 10 overs, they didn't even try. They couldn't chase 120 also? "I feel ashamed. As a fan I want to back the Pakistan cricket team all the way but there is a limit to something," Akram said.

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Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan feels Pakistan lacks self belief.

"Sometimes really poor pitches produce the best games .. this was one of them .. Pakistan just don't believe they can win .. Simple as that .. #INDvsPAK." After back-to-back defeats against minnows USA and India, Pakistan's Super Eight chances now rests on winning big against Canada and Ireland, besides hoping that the Americans lose to India and Ireland.

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Even in that scenario both the teams will end on four points each and it will come down to the net run rate.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published June 10th, 2024 at 23:31 IST