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“Isko chhodunga nahi…”: Shoaib Akhtar recalls coaching days with Babar Azam




Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is not mincing his words while criticizing Pakistan skipper Babar Azam over his poor communication skills. He has been hitting out at the young batsman, insisting that he can never become a “brand” in the country as he does not know how to express himself in front of the media. However, on a lighter note, Akhtar recently shared an old incident about bowling to a young Babar in the nets during his coaching days. He revealed how the Pakistan captain had hit him for a straight drive, leaving him fuming with anger.

“I still remember that Babar used to come to the academy. Mudassar Bhai was with him at that time. Once, I asked Babar to bat in the nets, and specifically asked him not to hit me for a straight drive. But he is a natural batsman who relies on his covers and straight drives. Soon, he hit me for a straight drive. Then I thought, ‘Main isko chodoonga nahi’ (Then I thought, I will not spare you). Then, Mudassar bhai (former Pakistan head coach) told Babar that varna yeh ball maar dunga (otherwise he will kill you),” Akhtar told Suno News.

Earlier, Akhtar took a veiled dig at Babar after wicketkeeper-batsman Azam Khan played a match-winning knock for Islamabad United in a Pakistan Super League match against Karachi Kings.

“I found Azam Khan to be a responsible guy who can get the innings going and not just slog. He spoke smartly in the interview as well, and it was nice to hear him speak like that as he spoke about his performance. I spoke in. When I was playing 20. Years back, I didn’t care about how I speak. But in today’s era, being in media is a part of your job. I can only give you hints and Can prompt, ‘This is a problem, please fix it.’ It is for your own benefit.’

Akhtar further took a dig at Babar’s ‘ICC Player of the Year’ award, which he won earlier this year, and said, “When Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq used to play, they used to say , ‘The whole ground and the crowd is mine. I control the atmosphere of the place.’ … The crowd backed him, he took ownership of him. He was like, ‘I’m here to run the show.’

Babar is currently leading the PSL team Peshawar Zalmi, who have registered three wins from six matches. Zalmi will now take on Lahore Qalandars in their next match on Tuesday.

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