Former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Rashid Latif has made a bold claim about the Pakistan national team’s recent change of captaincy in the white-ball formats. The PCB, under the leadership of new chairman Mohsin Naqvi, re-appointed the services of former captain Babar Azam in ODIs and T20Is, replacing left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi. After coming across the news, Latif, while speaking to a local Pakistani channel, stated that Babar had taken revenge on Shaheen.

This particular development was made official last week when the PCB took to its official X (formerly Twitter) handle to announce Babar Azam’s captaincy re-appointment. The star right-hand batter had stepped down from the leadership role himself last year in November, following the Green Army’s shambolic exit from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Pakistan had finished 5th in the league table and as a result, they failed to reach the knock-out rounds for the 3rd edition in a row.

After Babar Azam had relinquished captaincy, the PCB which was under then chairman Zaka Ashraf, appointed Shaheen Afridi as the T20I captain. Other than Afridi, the board decided to hand over Test captaincy to left-hand batsman Shan Masood. On his first assignment as Test captain, Masood endured a 3-0 defeat to the hands of Australia in December-January. Whereas Afridi suffered a cruel 4-1 defeat during a T20I series in New Zealand.

Rashid Latif feels both Shaheen and Babar Azam have been treated unfairly by the PCB

Rashid Latif went all in after the Pakistan Cricket Board for the unfair treatment of Shaheen Afridi as well as Babar Azam. The 55-year-old is of the view that regardless of how good Shaheen and Babar’s friendship has been, the latter has taken revenge over the former by accepting the captaincy offer.

Latif also shed light on the statement Shadab Khan had made after captaining the team to a series loss against Afghanistan. Shadab, who recently lifted the PSL 9 title as Islamabad United’s captain, had claimed that Pakistan’s team is incomplete without either Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan.

Had Shaheen taken a similar route when he was appointed as the new skipper earlier this year then he wouldn’t have had to deal with all this.

“If Shaheen had taken that step that day, he wouldn’t be seeing all this today. No matter how much friendship there is, Babar has taken revenge. Shaheen was treated unfairly and so was Babar Azam.” – Latif said via a local Pakistani channel. 

Latif feels that Pakistan is on the verge of falling apart

One of the prime reasons behind Babar Azam’s was for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and West Indies. The PCB was of the view that a batter would be better suited as compared to a bowler. However, Rashid Latif feels that the Pakistan national team is on the verge of falling apart. That’s because if they don’t perform well in the T20 WC this June then they will be crumbling.

“I see this team falling apart. If they don’t win the World Cup, they’ll be seen crumbling. Winning the match against India is necessary. It feels like the 90s era has returned.” – Latif concluded. 

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