Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Monday slammed the ICC for not including a single Pakistan player in their T20I team of the decade.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. (Reuters Photo)
- Shoaib Akhtar argued that Babar Azam should have been in the T20I list
- Babar Azam is currently ranked No. 2 in the ICC T20I rankings for batsmen behind Dawid Malan
- Babar Azam has done more for his country even in comparison to Virat Kohli: Shoaib Akhtar
The International Cricket Council on Sunday announced the Team of the Decade in all three formats of the game. What was striking was the absence of any player from Pakistan in the three lists that were announced.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Monday slammed the ICC for not including a single Pakistan player in their T20I team of the decade. He argued that Babar Azam should have been in the T20I list.
“I think ICC forgot that Pakistan is also a member of ICC and they also play T20I cricket. They did not pick Babar Azam, who is currently the number one batsman in the ICC T20I rankings.
“There is no big player than Babar Azam in T20I. He is a top-scorer for Pakistan and his averages show what he has done for the country, even in comparison with Virat Kohli. It is so embarrassing and I’m sure after this video they will think that they have to announce the World Team of the Decade, not the IPL team,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
Akhtar accused the ICC of announcing an IPL team instead of a World XI team.
“They did not pick a single player from Pakistan in the team. We don’t need your (ICC) T20I Team of the Decade because you announced the IPL team, not a world cricket team,” Akhtar said.
ICC has commercialised the game, says Akhtar
He further said that ICC has commercialised the game to an extent that the joy of playing now has gone away.
“ICC only thinks about money, sponsorships and TV rights. They introduced two new balls and three powerplays (in the ODI cricket). Where is Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, big five of West Indies, Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis)?
“Where are the world’s fastest bowlers and leg-spinners? They went away because ICC commercialised and materialised cricket so much and allowed ten leagues to earn more revenue,” Akhtar said.