Babar Azam, the Pakistan captain and arguably one of the current best batters in world cricket is going through a rough phase both on and off the field. There isn’t too much wrong with his batting, to be fair. He scored two half-centuries in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand after scoring 161 in the two-Test series. But it’s Pakistan’s performance that has hurt his credentials. Pakistan lost the ODI series to New Zealand 1-2. The Test results also didn’t go their way as they barely managed to sneak out a draw. And this came after they were defeated quite comprehensively in the historic Test series against England at home. In the last three Test series that Pakistan have played at home in Babar Azam’s captaincy against Australia, England and New Zealand, they have won none and have lost two.
Amid all this, Babar Azam’s alleged intimate chats and videos with a woman were leaked online. The authenticity of the claims was debatable but the leaked screenshots created a stir on social media. There were many who believed the chat, videos and audio files were real, there were others, who believed it was nothing but an attempt to tarnish Babar Azam’s image.
There has been no official comment on the incident from either Babar or the Pakistan Cricket Board but the talismanic right-handed batter appeared to be unaffected by the social media storm.
The Pakistan captain took to Twitter and Instagram to post his photograph with a one-line caption: “Doesn’t take too much to be happy.”
There were encoyraging comments on the comments section of Babar’s post with thousands of fans showing their support and urging him to stay strong.
According to various reports in the Pakistan media, PCB are mulling replacing Babar Azam as the Test captain after the side’s below-par performance in red-ball cricket under his leadership.
Former Pakistan captain and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, who has worked with Babar Azam closely in the past, said the latter’s position in the Pakistan team is ‘weakened’.
“Cricket is my blood and I watch cricket matches and read about cricket all the time. And from what I see Babar Azam’s position in the team is being weakened,” Misbah told reporters in Lahore on Tuesday.
Misbah, who was told to resign by former chairman Ramiz Raja as head coach in September 2021 although he had a three-year contract with the board, said that one can see this easily by watching press conferences of Babar.
“Look at some of the questions being asked to him, what do they indicate he is being weakened as a captain and I am afraid that will have adverse effects on the team’s dressing room.”