'He doesn’t deserve to be trolled like this': Rashid Latif comes out in defence of Azam Khan - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

'He doesn’t deserve to be trolled like this': Rashid Latif comes out in defence of Azam Khan

 

Azam Khan during a training session - AFP

Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter, Azam Khan has been under heavy criticism and there have been questions on his selectionfor the T20 World Cup 2024 by cricket fans in the country and experts.

Azam saw himself under fire and first restricted comments on his posts and then deleted all of the posts from his Instagram handle on June 3.

Meanwhile, Former captain Rashid Latif has come to the aid of the youngster and stated that he doesn't deserve to be treated like this.

Azam’s record in T20I cricket has been poor with just 88 runs in 12 innings at an average of just 9.78 and Latif declared that the trolling is affecting his game.

“He is under immense pressure. He is being body-shamed, is being trolled. Azam is an exceptional batsman in T20s. He is a clean hitter, plays spinners well, has worked on his game against the pacers. I feel bad for the kid, he is only 25. He doesn’t deserve to be trolled like this,” Latif told The Indian Express. 

In the recent series, Pakistan has been playing Azam as their wicketkeeper because he can not field and Azam has been poor as a keeper, too.

Latif also talked about Azam keeping the wickets when Pakistan already has a great keeper in Mohammad Rizwan and called it a huge mistake.

“If Azam is not able to field then he doesn’t deserve to be in the XI. You can’t hide him in the field. When he played under Sarfaraz Ahmed (Quetta Gladiators), he was playing as a fielder. If you are picking Azam over Rizwan (as ‘keeper), then you are making a big blunder,” he added.

Latif lauded Rizwan’s keeping abilities saying that without him playing the role of wicketkeeper, Pakistan is going to suffer in the tournament.

“Rizwan is Pakistan’s best keeper and has been a warrior for this team. Wicketkeepers run the game from behind the stumps. It is not only about DRS but the other facets of the game as well. Now he is fielding in the deep, which is wrong. Babar doesn’t have that captaincy acumen, he needs Rizwan and if Rizwan is not Pakistan’s keeper, Pakistan will struggle in the World Cup,” Latif said.

Pakistan are grouped with USA, India, Ireland and Canada in the Group A of the tournament and it is to be seen if Azam will make the final cut to the Playing XI for Pakistan’s first match in the tournament on June 6 against the USA.

Pakistan’s squad for T20 World Cup 2024:

Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan (wk), Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Abrar Ahmed.

Pakistan’s schedule for the T20 World Cup 2024:

6 June 2024 – Pakistan v USA, Dallas.

9 June 2024 – Pakistan v India, New York.

11 June 2024 – Pakistan v Canada, New York.

16 June 2024 – Pakistan v Ireland, Florida.

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