Babar Azam, Azam Khan and 4 others jet off to holiday in UK days after Pakistan's humiliating T20 World Cup exit: Report | Crickit
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Babar Azam, Azam Khan and 4 others jet off to holiday in UK days after Pakistan's humiliating T20 World Cup exit: Report

Jun 17, 2024 06:02 PM IST

While the team will be returning to Pakistan on June 19, certain players will fly to the UK from the USA to spend time with family and friends.

The Pakistan cricket team has departed from the USA following their forgettable campaign at the T20 World Cup and will land in Pakistan on 19 June through Dubai. However, Babar Azam, along with five other cricketers, will not be flying back home and instead jet off to the United Kingdom on a holiday approved by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Babar Azam among 6 players to holiday in the UK.(Reuters)
Babar Azam among 6 players to holiday in the UK.(Reuters)

As per a report in the Express Tribune, giving Captain Babar company on the flight to England will be Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim. The decision was taken after the players decided to spend time with friends and family before returning to Pakistan to get some fresh air and a change of scenario to shake off the 2024 T20 World Cup disaster.

Champions in 2009, Pakistan endured arguably their worst-ever T20 World Cup exit, let alone an ICC tournament, when they were eliminated in the league stage itself. Pakistan have lost before, but not advancing in a Group that featured Canada, Ireland, the USA and India will remain a bitter pill to swallow for the players, coaches, the board and its fans. Pakistan lost its opening fixture against the USA, followed by a six-run defeat to India, which resulted in losing all the odds.

The report also states that the players may explore opportunities to play in some local English clubs before heading back to Pakistan. These are not county clubs, hence, just how much it would help improve their game remains to be seen. But rest assured, the players are seeking some time off from competitive cricket during their time in the United Kingdom.

When do Pakistan play next?

As Pakistan's next international assignment is in August, the players are in no hurry to return. With almost two months before Pakistan host Bangladesh for a two-Test series, head coach Gary Kirsten and assistant coach Azhar Mahmood have also left for their respective homes and are expected to return in time for the Tests.

How the Pakistan media and their former cricketers react to this news promises to be another chapter altogether. A wave of backlash and criticism has gripped the nation after Pakistan's poor show at the World Cup. Former cricketers have called for drastic measures, such as Wasim Akram demanding an overhaul of the team and Shoaib Malik wanting Babat to step down as captain. Besides, reports of discord among players in the Pakistan team have always raised more than a few eyebrows.

Pakistan's time in the USA ended with a controversial press conference addressed by skipper Babar, where he revealed that it was PCB's decision to reinstate him back as captain after he had stepped down after last year's ODI World Cup in India. After Pakistan's hopes of qualifying for the Super Eights were severely dented following loss to the USA and India, their last few rays of hope were pinned on the outcome of the USA-Ireland game. However, when the match was abandoned due to rain, the points were split, and while the USA advanced to the next stage, Pakistan crashed out.

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