NZ v PAK 2020: Babar Azam has to show the world that he is a man of steel, says Shoaib Akhtar

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar opined that Babar Azam, who has been recently appointed as the captain of the Pakistan cricket team across formats, has to become a ‘man of steel’.

Akhtar warned Babar Azam that there will be people in cricketing circles willing to bring him down, and he will have to evolve quickly and show the world what he is made of.

Babar Azam has captained the T20I and ODI sides of Pakistan earlier. He was appointed as the captain across all three formats before Pakistan’s tour to New Zealand.

Also read: We are a big squad of 50 people so it’s a tough task to handle it: Babar Azam

The 45-year-old opened up regarding Babar Azam’s new role as the captain while speaking to PTV Sports.

“When you come in the limelight and go on the path of becoming a real star, some people will try to bring you down and make you suffer. That is the time when you have to show what you are made of,” Akhtar said.

He went on to add that Babar Azam will need to evolve as a batsman, player, and captain to gain the support of people in the cricketing fraternity.

“Babar Azam now needs to evolve as a captain, player and batsman so that everyone knows that he is a man of steel. If you are not a man of steel, then there will be no one backing you. I will be honest with you; I remember [the] exact words of many CEOs/Chairmen [of PCB] who said that Rashid [Latif] bhai will stay as captain [for] six years. I have seen the high and lows of life [in cricket] over the past 24 years,” Akhtar added.

Rashid Latif captained the Pakistan national side only in 6 Test matches and 25 ODIs.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has sent a jumbo squad of 35 members for the tour, led by Babar Azam, which includes three T20Is and two Test matches.

The matches are scheduled to start with the T20I series on December 18.

Also read: “No communication regarding my exclusion from Pakistan’s squad:” Shoaib Malik

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