"That’s not cricket anymore" – Shahid Afridi’s stern warning to Babar Azam’s Pakistan after T20 World Cup disaster

Babar Azam, Shahid Afridi

Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has called for a change of approach by Pakistani batsmen to excel in the shortest format of the game. The legendary all-rounder’s comments came in the wake of Pakistan’s dismal campaign in the recently concluded 2024 T20 World Cup.

The Men in Green bowed out of the T20 World Cup in the group stages after suffering defeats against the United States and India. Their batsmen were again under fire for struggling to score quickly. While the conditions were not easy for batting in the United States, Pakistan’s batsmen showed little desire to score quickly.

Their two main batsmen, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, struggled with strike rate. While they finished the competition as Pakistan’s leading run-scorers, their runs did not really change their team’s fortunes. Babar scored 122 runs at a strike rate of 101.66, while Rizwan scored 110 runs at a strike rate of 90.90.

Shahid Afridi’s advice for Pakistan team:

Following Pakistan’s struggle in the T20 World Cup, Shahid Afridi has said that batsmen need preparation to be able to do well in modern cricket. The former cricketer claimed that cricket has changed and Pakistan players cannot rely on scoring one run per ball. He said that Pakistan cricket needs to develop to do well in these times.

“No, no, there is talent. They just need some preparation. Cricket has changed,” Shahid Afridi said.

“If you think you can score 40 runs in 40 balls, that’s not cricket anymore. Now you have to develop it,” he added.

Ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup, India won the tournament with a victory over South Africa in the final. The Men in Blue beat the Proteas by 7 runs in the final to win their second T20 World Cup and first since 2007.

India finished the competition with a 100 per cent win percentage. In the group stage, they beat Ireland, Pakistan and the United States to qualify for the Super 8. In the Super 8, the Rohit Sharma-led team beat Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Australia before thrashing defending champions England by 68 runs in the semi-final to qualify for the final for the first time since 2014.