Not long ago a screenshot of a chat involving former Pakistan captain Babar Azam had gone viral on social media and now the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) finds itself at the centre of another controversy with a leaked audio recording allegedly that of the Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf. If the audio is to be believed, it reveals Ashraf’s plan to remove Babar from captaincy across formats after Pakistan’s failure to secure a place in the semifinals in the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023.
“I asked Babar to stay on as Test captain, but told him that I was thinking of removing him as the white-ball captain. Babar told me he would consult his family and then convey his decision,” a voice, believed and reported to be that of Ashraf by several media oraganisations, is heard saying in the viral clip. A report carried by Pakistani Media Dawn claims that Ashraf was having this conversation with a female member of his family during a private discussion. However, ABP Live could not independently verify these claims.
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“Talha advised him to leave everything. I had a Plan-B prepared should such a situation arise and when Babar told me he was stepping down, I called him (Masood or Afridi) and told him that you’re the captain now,” the voice added.
“He (Talha) has controlled eight players of the national team. He has signed contracts with the players… He is such a smart guy that he has built a lot of relationships with the players’ families by going to the players’ houses, and the players can’t move without him,” Ashraf allegedly told this family member.
Babar Regains Top Spot In ICC ODI Rankings
Meanwhile, Babar Azam has regained the top spot in the ICC ODI Rankings. While he was dethroned by India’s Shubman Gill, he reclaimed the position in the latest rankings released by the world cricket governing body on Wednesday (December 20). He is followed by Shubman, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma respectively.