Wahab Riaz hits back at criticism of Babar Azam’s English

Wahab Riaz (right) and Babar Azam share a light moment during toss of a PSL match — PCB/File
Wahab Riaz (right) and Babar Azam share a light moment during toss of a PSL match — PCB/File

Star cricketer and adviser to the Punjab chief minister on sports and youth affairs Wahab Riaz on Friday strongly responded to criticism of skipper Babar Azam’s English, saying “speaking English is not necessary for any captain”.

During his latest interview, Riaz said: “We are a complex nation. We always like the things of others. I understand that English is a widely spoken language but our national language is Urdu. If Babar or any other person speaks Urdu, I don’t think there is an issue.”

Sharing his point of view, he said: “I believe you should know English but it is not a necessity. You only need to have good communication skills be it in Urdu or English.”

Former Test cricketer Shoaib Akhtar criticised Babar on his speaking skills.

“I want to openly say that Babar Azam should be the biggest brand in Pakistan, but why hasn’t he become the biggest brand in Pakistan? Because he can’t speak,” he had said during a TV show.

“Cricket is one job, and handling media is another. If you can’t speak, I am sorry, but you won’t be able to express yourself on TV,” he added.

The Pakistani skipper has often faced criticism of his communication skills while addressing the media. Meanwhile, his captaincy also remains under the knife more often.

Babar is currently the number one batter on ODIs. In T20Is, he is fourth and in Tests, he is fifth in the world.

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