Veteran paceman Shoaib Akhtar expressed displeasure over Pakistan captain Babar Azam not being included in the ICC T20I Team of the Decade of the Decade. Famous from the Rawalpindi Express, Akhtar said that the ICC has declared IPL Playing-XI, not the International Team of the Decade in the shorter format.
Pakistan’s players did not find a place in any format of the ICC team of the decade, including women cricketers. Akhtar said in a video posted on his official YouTube channel, ‘I think the ICC forgot that Pakistan is also a member of the ICC and he also plays T20 cricket. He did not select Babar Azam, who is currently the number-one batsman in the ICC T20 International rankings. He did not select a single player from Pakistan.
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He further said, ‘We don’t need your (ICC) T20 International team (Decade) because you have announced the IPL team, not the World Cricket team.’ The veteran fast bowler openly criticized the functioning of the ICC and claimed that the organization is ruining the game for money.
Akhtar said, ‘The ICC only thinks about money, sponsors and TV rights. He made two new balls and three powerplays (in ODI cricket). Where are Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, five West Indies players, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis? Where is the world’s fastest bowler and leg spinner? They left because the ICC thought of earning more commercially and allowed 10 leagues to start, which would generate more revenue. ‘
He said, ‘There is a big difference between today’s cricket and 70s cricket. If there is no Sachin vs Shoaib, then what is the point of watching cricket? There is no big player. There is no bigger player than Babar Azam in T20. He is the top scorer for Pakistan and also shows the average of what he has done for the country compared to Virat Kohli.
Akhtar said, ‘It is very shameful that he (Babur) did not get a place in the team of the decade. I am sure after this video they will think that they will think that they have to announce the World Team of the Decade, not the IPL team.
Earlier, the ICC included Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, and Jaspreet Bumrah in their T20I team of the decade. Dhoni has been named captain of the ICC T20 International Team of the Decade (Decade). The team has 4 players each from India, 2-2 from Australia and West Indies, one each from Sri Lanka, South Africa and Afghanistan.
ICC T20 International Team of the Decade: Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (c), Kairan Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jaspreet Bumrah and Lasith Malinga.