The recent incident involving the airing of Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam’s WhatsApp chats on national news channels has struck a chord with the cricketing community in the country.
The situation unfolded when ARY News, a prominent Pakistani media channel, aired a screenshot of a conversation between Babar and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) COO Salman Naseer. In the chat, Naseer questioned Babar about reaching out to the board chief, to which Babar responded that he never contacted Zaka Ashraf.
Despite the news anchor’s apology for airing the leaked messages, several former cricketers have voiced their concerns about the media’s insensitivity. Former Pakistan captain and legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi was particularly outspoken, describing the incident as “pathetic.”Speaking with Samaa TV, Afridi said, “Main yeh kahunga yeh ghatiya harkat hai (It is a pathetic move). This cannot be done. Hum apne mulk ko khud hi badnam kar rahe hain (We are defaming our country and our players). How can you show someone’s private messages like this, and that too, of our captain Babar Azam?”
I heard somewhere in the news that Babar has been trying PCB chief but he’s not responding. I think this act has been done to counter that. I don’t understand why this has been done.
And why it’s aired on national television? Did the PCB Chairman ask him to do so? At least the anchor said so. What kind of behaviour is this? And if the Chairman has really done this, then I’m very sorry, it’s pathetic,” said Afridi.
Earlier on Monday, ex-Pakistan captain Waqar Younis took to microblogging site X and lashed out at the media house for running the screenshot of the chat on national television.
“Ya kya Karna ki koshish kar raha ho aap loog??? This is pathetic !!! Khush ho gaya aap loog. Please leave @babarazam258 alone. He’s an asset of Pakistan Cricket,” Waqar posted.
Ya kya Karna ki koshish kar raha ho aap loog??? This is pathetic !!!— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) October 30, 2023
Khush ho gaya aap loog. Please leave @babarazam258 alone 🙏🏽. He’s an asset of Pakistan Cricket @TheRealPCB @ARYNEWSOFFICIAL @Salman_ARY https://t.co/pcM90yUGqy