Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, has found it challenging to cope with the loss to Sri Lanka in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023. Following the defeat, Babar vented his frustration with his teammates in the dressing room and subsequently distanced himself from them at the team hotel. The situation took a more concerning turn when Babar left Sri Lanka without informing his teammates after Pakistan’s exit from the Asia Cup.
Reported by Bol News, Babar’s anger was primarily directed at the performance of certain players, leading to these incidents. Despite wearing a smile during the post-match presentation, Babar’s demeanor changed drastically upon returning to the dressing room, where he openly expressed his disappointment. It was during this time that he engaged in a heated argument with star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, with Mohammad Rizwan eventually stepping in to defuse the tension.
As the ODI World Cup looms on the horizon, these developments are a matter of serious concern. Babar had previously been a vocal supporter of his team, discouraging any demotivation due to performance. However, after a disappointing two-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Colombo, his stance appears to have shifted.
Pakistan currently lacks any other bilateral series in its schedule and must regroup swiftly in preparation for the upcoming mega tournament in India. They will participate in a couple of warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia in Hyderabad before facing the Netherlands in their first World Cup match on October 6, at the same venue.
With limited time for preparations and the potential rift within the team, Pakistan’s chances of clinching the coveted trophy may be jeopardized. Despite being the top-ranked ODI team globally, they finished at the bottom of the table in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup. This could have a detrimental impact on team morale, an issue that the team management needs to address urgently. Babar, as the captain, must also work towards resolving any differences for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.