Pakistan Cricket Board’s interim chief selector Shahid Afridi has made a huge statement with regards to the team’s national captain Babar Azam. A former skipper himself, Afridi, said that he will back Babar and will look to improve the bench strength of the team while is in charge of the team’s selection.

“Babar Azam is the backbone of our team. He is one of our top performers. I liked it when he challenged the New Zealand team for the chase. And as a selection committee, we want to be a shoulder for him and support him,” Afridi told media personnel at a press conference.

“Also, I liked what he said in the post-match presser after the draw. He said the team is focusing on cricket and is unaware of what is being said outside. So, Babar should focus on the game only. The selection committee will always support him to come up with better combinations so that he feels confident on the field,” he added.

Want to work on Pakistan’s bench strength: Afridi

He then spoke about working on Pakistan’s “bench strength.”

“I want to create two teams for Pakistan before my tenure ends in order to improve bench strength,” he stated.

The 45-year-old cited communication gap among management, doctors, selection committee and players as a major problem.

“The major problem that I’ve observed here is the communication gap among management, doctors and selection committee. It is important for a chief selector – be it me or someone else – to stay in direct contact with players. When I spoke to Haris and Fakhar, I got to know the better picture and I invited them to the fitness Test,” he said.

Wickets on which we’ve been playing are injurious to our bowlers: Afridi

He than also spoke about the poor pitches on offer especially in home Tests in the recent times.

“It will be something where bowlers will get some support and batters will also enjoy their stay, there will be some bounce on the wicket. We can not become a top team by playing on these wickets. The wickets on which we’ve been playing are injurious to our bowlers, pacers will start having fitness issues and spinners will injure their fingers,” Afridi said.

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