The Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team has been eliminated from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, failing to secure a spot in the semi-finals following their last group match against England.
In a crucial match where Pakistan needed a significant win to surpass New Zealand’s net run rate (NRR) and advance, England’s captain, Jos Buttler, chose to bat first after winning the toss.
The English team set a formidable score of 150 runs, making it unfeasible for Pakistan to chase the target in the required 3.4 overs. The outcome left Pakistan in fifth place, with only four victories out of eight games and an NRR of 0.036. The match against England thus became a formality, with both teams effectively out of contention for the tournament.
Babar Azam’s Future as Captain in Question
Amidst the team’s World Cup exit, there are growing calls for a thorough evaluation of the team’s performance. Babar Azam, who came into the World Cup as the top-ranked ODI batter, is reportedly reconsidering his role as the white-ball captain.
Despite his success, Azam’s leadership has been critiqued for lacking inspiration. He denied that the burden of captaincy affected his performance, stating, “I have been captaining my team for the last three years, and I have never felt pressure.” Azam’s future as captain remains uncertain as he plans to reflect on his role upon returning to Pakistan.
Babar’s statement also addresses the public scrutiny and advice he has received, inviting direct communication rather than public commentary.