Tensions within the Pakistan cricket camp have heightened significantly, with an apparent growing divide between Captain Babar Azam and the national cricket board. What makes this situation particularly concerning is the unfortunate timing, as these disputes have arisen during the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023.
Amid mounting speculations that Babar’s captaincy may be at risk due to Pakistan’s poor performance in the World Cup, several reports have mentioned that the 29-year-old made efforts to communicate with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to clarify the situation. Adding to the intrigue, a WhatsApp conversation, shared by PCB chief Zaka Ashraf with a renowned journalist, quickly gained widespread attention on social media, sparking a significant controversy.
Zaka Ashraf’s Statements: During an interview, Ashraf addressed surprising allegations made by former cricketer Rashid Latif, who claimed that Babar had not received a response from the PCB Chief despite attempting to reach out. In response to these allegations, the 71-year-old clarified that Babar had never directly contacted him.
“He [Latif] says that I don’t pick up his [Babar’s] call. He has never called me. The team’s captain is supposed to talk with Director International Cricket or the Chief Operating Officer,” Ashraf stated during an interview with ARY News.
The Intriguing WhatsApp Chat: Ashraf made a deliberate effort to substantiate his claim by sharing Babar’s personal WhatsApp messages. The journalist Shoaib Jatt, who received the chat, subsequently aired it on a TV show hosted by Waseem Badami. The conversation revealed was between Babar and the PCB’s Chief Operating Officer, Salman Naseer.
In this revealed exchange, Naseer’s message inquired, “Babar, there have been reports circulating on TV and social media that you have been trying to call the Chairman, and he’s not answering. Have you recently tried to contact him?”. As per the chat, Babar responded, “Salam Salman bhai, I have not made any calls to sir.” This was retwitted by Waqar Younis in his twitter account
Ya kya Karna ki koshish kar raha ho aap loog??? This is pathetic !!!
Khush ho gaya aap loog. Please leave @babarazam258 alone 🙏🏽. He’s an asset of Pakistan Cricket @TheRealPCB @ARYNEWSOFFICIAL @Salman_ARY https://t.co/pcM90yUGqy
— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) October 30, 2023
Cricket enthusiasts from around the world have widely criticized Ashraf’s actions, as disclosing private messages is perceived as a breach of privacy.