ISLAMABAD: The extraordinary Saqlain Mushtaq believes that Babar Azam has all the essential elements of leadership, but says that the batsman must sit with the leaders of the world’s best teams to learn ways to bring along his side.
“I think this is very important for him [Babar] to find out how to lead the team and carry out the plan. Clearly, there is a need for him to sit with the best [team] leader; drinking a cup of tea with them and gossiping with the intention to learn how to bring the team along, “Saqlain said on his Saqlain Mushtaq Show YouTube channel.
43-year-old Saqlain said Babar’s level of confidence and hit skills were unmatched and he had shown exceptional performance from the start.
He proposed that Babar should sit with great players such as Imran Khan and Wasim Akram to study the art of leadership, and also asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to arrange a meeting of Babar with Australian greats Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting and Andrew Strauss from England.
“Every time a Pakistani series occurs with another country, management must arrange a meeting with the country’s former greats so that he can take their brains,” Saqlain, who played 49 Tests and 169 ODIs from 1995 to 2004, commented.
He said Babar also had to build his own structure and should not compromise on his hit skills. “He also has to learn how to deal with media. The PCB media department can help with that,” the off-spinner said.
Saqlain also disagreed with proposals by some parties that Babar had to learn English because he had to speak during the draw and post-match presentation and had to give interviews to the media.
“Asking him to learn English is totally irrelevant. He knows Urdu and doesn’t need anything else [to express himself]. There are some world leaders who speak their mother tongue. An interpreter can explain whatever he says, “Saqlain said.
“However, if you have time, there is no harm in getting a second language, but I believe it is not important to you as a captain. I believe he has leadership qualities and that is why he is given control of the leadership of the team,” Saqlain added.
Published in Dawn, May 20, 2020
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