Pakistan have endured a disastrous start to their 2022 T20 World Cup campaign. After facing a dramatic four-wicket loss to arch-rivals India in their tournament opener last Sunday, the Babar Azam-led side faced a shock defeat to minnows Zimbabwe in their second match. Despite restricting the men in maroon to a paltry score of 130/8, Pakistan failed to chase down the target as they fell short by one run.

Justifiably, the Pakistan cricket fraternity is left disappointed with the side’s performance in the tournament so far. While many believe that many of the Pakistan batters lack game-awareness, the side’s senior wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal made a massive remark on Babar Azam after the losses. Akmal, who is also Babar’s cousin, requested the star batter to “step down” from the leadership role for the betterment of his career.

Also read: ‘Most complete Indian batsman of my time’: Australia’s Greg Chappell reserves ultimate praise for star batter amid WC

“Dekhein, ye toh nazar aa raha tha. Pehle match me ye bowling karaayi hoti toh hum runs naa chase karwaate. Ham kehte aa rahe hain England series me, koi sun nahi raha hai ego me aake. Koi ex-cricketers ki nahi sunta. Being an elder brother, agar Babar samajhta hai, agar PCB samajhta hai meri rai, Babar ko iss World Cup ke baad kaptaani nahi karni chahiye. (See, we can see that. If we had played the same bowling attack in the first match, we wouldn’t have let India chase the target. I’ve been saying this since the England series, but no one listens to ex-cricketers. Being an elder brother, I want to say to Babar that he should leave the captaincy after the T20 World Cup),” Akmal said on ARY News.

“Agar aapko uss se 22-25000 run karwaane hain, toh usko as a player khilaayein. Varna vo itna under-pressure aayega, agar Babar ya mere chachu samajhte hain, usko step down kar dena chahiye. (If you want 22-25,000 runs from him, you have to keep him purely as a player or else he would be under-pressure. If Babar or his father understand this, he should step down).”

Akmal further urged Babar to focus on his game “like Virat Kohli,” adding that the Pakistan batter not realising his full potential would be a “great loss” for the side.

“Apni cricket me focus karein, jaise Virat Kohli focus karta hai. Kyunki iske baad koi batsman mere ko nazar nahi aa raha hai. Bada nuksaan hoga Pakistan cricket ka agar ye jaldi team se chala gaya toh. (He should focus on his cricket like Virat Kohli. Because I can’t see any other batsman of this quality in our setup. Pakistan cricket would suffer greatly if Babar doesn’t play to his full potential),” said Akmal.

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