In a sponsored post on a social media website by Cricket Australia (CA), Babar Azam was depicted as an ambassador for Pakistan Cricket alongside Pat Cummins. Allegedly, the current management of the PCB conspired against Babar Azam and attempted to undermine his position.
An audio leak, allegedly featuring the voice of Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) interim management committee chairman, Zaka Ashraf, has revealed plans to oust Babar Azam from his role as the all-format captain of the national team.
Check Out The Leaked Audio: “Hassan Ali played because he is Babar Azam’s friend.”
The two-minute and fifteen-second recording exposes discussions around the controversial removal of Babar Azam from captaincy in all three formats, implicating Ashraf in a carefully orchestrated plan.
Babar declared his decision to resign from the captaincy in the aftermath of Pakistan’s lackluster performance at the World Cup in India. However, the leaked audio has provided additional insight into the orchestrated circumstances that compelled the prominent batter to step down.
Tensions between Zaka Ashraf and Babar reportedly originated during the ICC World Cup 2023 in India, where Pakistan faced an early exit. The controversy intensified with the emergence of WhatsApp chats between Babar and PCB Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer in November, raising questions about communication during the World Cup.
Previously back in November member of his own management committee wrote email, copying it to the ministry which has oversight over sports. Zulfiqar Malik, the management-committee member, made the allegations in an email to Ashraf and the management committee.
In his email, Malik has accused Ashraf and the administration of:
- 1- Failing its legal, prescribed mandate, which was to manage only the board’s daily affairs and not make long-term decisions.
- 2- Ignoring directives from the IPC to hold board elections so that the interim set-up finishes, and a chairman is appointed.
- 3- Failing to provide his degree certificate, which is a prerequisite for becoming a PCB chairmanAllowing his son Chaudhry Khan Mohammad to meddle informally in board matters.
- 4- Misusing the office of the PCB election commissioner to carry out political victimization of opponents and running rigging elections in the regions.
“I have noted some flagrant misdoings and unconstitutional decisions by management that I wish to bring on record,” Malik writes. He says the email is an attempt “to absolve myself from the unconstitutional decisions and wrongdoings which have taken place over the period of time without consultation or approval of most members”.
The two most serious issues are the lack of movement on board elections as well as the scope of this administration’s work beyond the prescribed daily decision making.
“[But] this MC led by Mr Zaka Ashraf has not confined itself to day to day affairs and has taken many long term decisions which violate the mandate given to this MC,” Malik writes, going on to cite several examples of the appointments the board has made as breaches of this mandate.