'I can't play in every player's place': Babar Azam defends captaincy criticism after Pakistan's early T20 World Cup exit | Crickit
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'I can't play in every player's place': Babar Azam defends captaincy criticism after Pakistan's early T20 World Cup exit

Jun 17, 2024 10:48 AM IST

Babar Azam did not just defend the criticism against his captaincy in T20 World Cup, he also addressed the future of his leadership role in the white-ball side.

For the second time in a row, Babar Azam failed to lead Pakistan past the group stage of an ICC event. After a league-stage exit in the 2023 ODI World Cup last November, Pakistan were eliminated from the race to make the Super Eight in the T20 World Cup earlier last week after losses against the USA and India in the group stage. The early exit for the 2009 champions left Babar's white-ball captaincy future hanging in the balance. Speaking to the media after a nervy against Ireland on Sunday in Florida, Babar did not just defend the criticism against his captaincy in the World Cup, he also addressed the future of his leadership role in the white-ball side.

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam takes the catch of India's Rishabh Pant during their Group A match in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium (Surjeet Yadav)
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam takes the catch of India's Rishabh Pant during their Group A match in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium (Surjeet Yadav)

"When I gave up the captaincy [in 2023], I thought that I shouldn't be doing it now, that's why I left it and I announced it myself," Babar said. “Then when they gave it back to me, it was the decision of the PCB. When I go back, we will discuss all that has happened here. And if I have to leave the captaincy, I will announce it openly. I will not hide behind anything. Whatever happens will happen in the open. But for now, I have not thought about it. It is eventually PCB's decision.”

The Pakistan opener also refused to take responsibility for Pakistan's third group-stage exit in T20 World Cups, saying that one particular person was not responsible for the downfall and that it was down to the team not performing collectively.

"I told you that we did not lose this because of one particular person," Babar said. "We win and lose as a team. You are pointing out that [I am] the captain, but I cannot play in every player's place. There are 11 players, and each of them has a role. That's why they came here to play the World Cup. I think we have not been able to play well as a team. We have to settle down and accept that we didn't play well as a team.

"We accept that we didn't play according to the expectations. The kind of team we had, the experience we had, we haven't been able to deliver at different times. As a player and as a captain, I am not going to single [anyone] out. The fault lies with all 15. We will sit and review. As a captain, my responsibility is to give my feedback to the decision-makers."

Pakistan finished third in the group stage of the T20 World Cup. While they did bounce back to beat Canada and Ireland in their remaining two matches, their exit was confirmed after the match between the USA and Ireland was washed out due to rain on Friday.

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