Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar was critical of Pakistan's performance in the three-match ODI series against England. The Pakistan side, led by Babar Azam, slumped to a 0-3 series loss in Birmingham despite the skipper's record-breaking 158 with the bat.
In a bid to snatch a consolation win, Pakistan notched up an intimidating 331-run total on the scoreboard. England, however, got to the target with three wickets in hand as James Vince's ton and Lewis Gregory's 77 ensured a victory with two overs to spare.
Virat Kohli is one of the best, I feel proud when people compare me with such big player: Babar Azam
Akhtar, on his YouTube channel, termed Pakistan's England outing as "shameful" and added that the team's fan following will never grow with such performances.
“It's a shameful performance. Our board is average. It brings average people, the management is average so obviously, they are going to build an average team. You can’t expect extraordinary things from average people. It’s wrong for you to expect," Akhtar said.
“Crowd is coming to the ground but after watching such performances, the fan following will never grow. There is no star to inspire the youngsters. Then how can you bring the next Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi or Wasim Akram? You have to build brand,” he added.
Responding to Akhtar's remarks, captain Babar hit back at the Ex-Pakistan pacer and said that "all players are giving their 100 percent everywhere."
"I think he [Shoaib Akhtar] doesn’t think so, but all the players are giving their 100 percent everywhere. I think you should ask him who a star is and who isn't. I can't argue or give comments on this," Azam was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Azam also reflected on his team's performances in the recently-concluded series and blamed bowling and fielding for a three-wicket defeat in the final One-day International.
“In the first two matches, our batting let us down. We lost early wickets in the first ten overs. We didn’t have momentum because of that. I have said it before as well that we lost the match today because of bowling and fielding,” said the 26-year-old.