Babar Azam likely to give up limited-overs captaincy after ODI World Cup 2023- Reports

There are reports suggesting that Babar Azam may step down from the limited-overs captaincy following the ODI World Cup in 2023, especially if Pakistan does not secure a spot in the semi-finals

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Babar Azam

Pakistan is set to face England in the 44th match of the ODI World Cup 2023 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Pakistan has won four of the eight matches they have played so far. Their semi-final hopes are not looking realistic as they will have to beat England with 287 runs or more if they bat first or chase down whatever target set by England in under 2.5 overs.

After winning their first two league matches, including the record run chase against Sri Lanka, Pakistan were riding high, but after that, their World Cup got derailed after they lost 4 consecutive matches, including one against Afghanistan, which put their semi-final chances in jeopardy.

Since the beginning of the century, Pakistan has played six World Cups and they managed to qualify for the semi-finals only once which they lost to India in 2011. Most of the time after such campaigns, the backlash they have received from back home in Pakistan has resulted in the chopping and changing of management and players in Pakistan, including the axing of the captain from his position.

The case is again looking the same as there are reports from Geo News that Pakistan skipper and stylish batter Babar Azam is contemplating giving up the limited-overs captaincy of the Pakistan Cricket team. According to the report, Azam has consulted former PCB Chairman Ramiz Raza and his other close aides regarding his future and his final decision will depend on the advice and the outcome of Pakistan’s last match against England as it will decide whether they will qualify for the semi-finals or not.

Babar Azam’s captaincy under fire

Babar was asked in the press conference before the match against England what is the future of his future as Pakistan’s captain to which he replied that he is not thinking about that currently as he has a World Cup match to play and he will make that call only once he reaches Pakistan.

Answering about his batting form succumbing to captaincy pressure, Babar Azam retaliated by stating that he has been captain of the Pakistan team for the last three years and he has been batting well since then, therefore, he feels that the current slight dip in his batting form has nothing to do with the captaincy pressure.

When asked about the captaincy Babar said, “About the captaincy--as I said, once we go back to Pakistan or after this match, we will see what happens. But right now, I am not focusing on this; my focus is on the next match."

He further added,” I have been captaining my team for the last three years, and I have never felt this way. It's just because I have not performed the way I should have in the World Cup, that's why people are saying that I am under pressure. I am under no pressure. I have been doing this for the last 2.5 or 3 years. I was the one who was performing, and I was the one who was the captain. I was applying the same thing”.

Pakistan vs England Babar Azam