This comes amid reports that the relationship between Pakistan captain Babar Azam and PCB chief Zaka Ashraf is not exactly alright
The Pakistan cricket team is going through a tough phase. The Babar Azam-led side has won only three out of seven games at the Cricket World Cup. A semi-final berth, though not impossible to achieve, will be very tough for the side. In the midst of this, a huge controversy has broken out with an alleged WhatsApp chat leak of Babar Azam. A Pakistan tv channel shared a screenshot of the alleged chat. The text, as displayed by the Pakistani channel, read: “Babar, there’s also been this news circulating on TV and social media that you have been calling Chairman and he’s not answering. Have you called him recently?”, the sender by the name of Salman wrote.
The receiver, whose name was saved as ‘Babar Azam New’, responded saying,”Salam Salman bhai, ma ny to sir ko koi call nai ke (Hello Salman brother, I did not call sir).”
It has now been revealed by the news anchor, who displayed the WhatsApp message on live TV, that it was the PCB chief himself who asked him to display the WhatsApp message during the show.
The news host Waseem Badami, said that about 7 minutes before the show was to start, the channel received a clip in which Ashraf asked them to show the message.
“About five to seven minutes before the show, we received a clip where Zaka Ashraf said: ‘I am giving you this screenshot and I am asking you to show it live on screen’. Ashraf also gave us permission to share that. He was taking responsibility on TV; we thought we could share it. But it wasn’t the ideal decision. We conveniently forgot that Babar Azam’s consent was also important,” Badami said in a video he shared on X (formerly Twitter).
“I’m saying this on behalf of my team and the management. I am not proud of it, we are not proud of it. When something like this happens, you learn from it and try not to repeat the same in future.”
After this, a video has been widely shared on social media where former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is asking Zaka Ashraf to mind his own business.
“Zaka Ashraf is not a club chairman. He is the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. He should observe many things. I am surprised that you are calling up owners of media houses that ‘he is saying so and so about me.” You are the chairman. You do your job and deliver. People are saying things about you because you have given them the opportunity to do so,” a visibly angry Shahid Afridi said on Samaa TV.
“You focus on your work. The team is playing World Cup and you are giving statement after statements. Sometimes you are saying something about Babar, sometimes about someone else. First strengthen your position. Work on what we as cricketers expect from you. Leave aside what people are saying against you. You are giving the opportunity yourself. Mind your own business.”
This comes amid reports that the relationship between Pakistan captain Babar Azam and PCB chief Zaka Ashraf is not alright. In fact, after a string of losses at the Cricket World Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board had released a statement where it said “the board will make decisions” based on the team’s performances in the World Cup.
“Addressing the media scrutiny directed at captain Babar Azam and the team management, the board’s stance, echoing that of former cricketers, is that successes and defeats are part of the game. Captain Babar Azam and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq were given freedom and support in forming the squad for the ICC World Cup 2023,” the statement read.
“Looking ahead, the board will make decisions in the best interest of Pakistan cricket based on the team’s performances in the World Cup. At present, the PCB encourages fans, former players and stakeholders to rally behind the team as they strive to make a triumphant comeback in the mega-event.”