Pakistan's new white-ball skipper Babar Azam has said that he would like to follow former World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan's style of captaincy.
Last week, Azam was named as Pakistan ODI captain by the Cricket Board. The right-handed Azam, who has been one of the world's leading batsmen across formats over the last year, replaced Sarfaraz Ahmed as the skipper.
"I would like to go with what I have learnt that is attacking. So, I would like to follow Imran Khan style of captaincy. As captain, you have to learn to be cool. You have to take players with you as well as planning with them against other teams," cricket website ESPNcricinfo quoted Azam.
"There are instances when you get angry inside but then you have to contain yourself and must have to control your aggression in the field. The confidence is the key and the more you back your players, they will give their best," he added.
The 25-year-old cricketer said he was ready for the 'challenging role'.
"It's a challenge and you always have to get ready to take up the challenge. When Wasim Khan (PCB CEO) called me first about handing me the captaincy, it naturally made me happy. It was written in my destiny and it did come to me," said Azam. "You can't complain that you got it early or it's a big responsibility. If they (PCB) invested their trust in me, obviously they thought it through and saw potential in me and I am ready for this," he added.
“Youngsters not coming to stadiums a serious issue”
The newly-appointed Pakistan skipper also said that the biggest issue for him when sports resumes during the Covid-19 phase would be youngsters being deprived of watching their heroes in action at stadiums.
As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, many sports have resumed behind closed doors, and cricket may be played like that in the future amid the crisis.
Moreover, many cricketing bodies are ready to restart the game behind closed doors following strict protocols on health and safety.
"No youngsters attending matches, watching their heroes live in action will be a serious issue for me. I was a ball-boy and got the motivation and inspiration by watching the Pakistan and South Africa Test in Lahore from arm's length," Babar said.
"I do not see that happening in the very near future," he added.
Ex-Pak pacer faces backlash after asking Babar to improve personality
Pakistan batsman Babar Azam's performances over the past couple of years has led to commentators and fans touting him as the next big thing in world cricket.
The 25-year-old already leads the team in limited-overs cricket and is touted as a future captain of Pakistan in all formats of the game after his recent performances in Test cricket.
However, former Pakistan pacer Tanvir Ahmed had some peculiar advice to give Babar. Tanvir, who played five Tests, two ODIs and one T20I for Pakistan between 2010 and 2013, said that Babar will have to improve his "personality, his dressing sense and his English."
"Try to improve your personality," Tanvir was quoted by Cricket Pakistan. "By personality, I mean a person can change his dressing sense. Babar Azam also needs to improve his English, which is necessary.
"Whenever someone becomes a captain, he has to talk during the toss and post-match presentation. Plus, he will also give interviews on various channels when he tours different countries.
"A leader needs to be punctual and organised as the players follow the captain. He should also maintain his fitness level, because if the captain himself isn't fit, then he can't advise other players on improving their fitness."
It has however not gone down too well with fans, some of whom wondered if Babar's English or personality matters more than his own individual and the team's performances.
"Tanvir Ahmed via Youtube says Babar Azam needs to improve his English, work on his personality and change his dress sense," said Pakistani cricket journalist Saj Sadiq in his tweet.
Tanvir Ahmed via Youtube says Babar Azam needs to improve his English, work on his personality and change his dress sense"— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) May 17, 2020
However many probably will feel as long as he's scoring runs and doing well as skipper, it doesn't matter how good his English is or what he wears"#Cricket pic.twitter.com/mDfNl5DwEl
"However many probably will feel as long as he's scoring runs and doing well as skipper, it doesn't matter how good his English is or what he wears #Cricket."
Another user said: "What do you need to be the skipper of the team? Cricketers: Leadership, Runs, class and form. Tanvir Ahmed: Good English, dressing sense and personality."
"Tanvir Ahmed is a disgrace," tweeted another user.
One user wondered why Tanvir is still relevant: "why is this Tanvir Ahmed so relevant and pretend to be an expert? What's his contribution and special records? Pls enlighten me."