Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who was gifted a bat by Babar Azam after Afghanistan’s win against Pakistan in the 2023 World Cup, recalled how the former Pakistan skipper was on the verge of tears after his team’s defeat.
Babar was replaced as Pakistan’s white-ball skipper following the side’s lacklustre show in the World Cup before he relinquished Test captaincy as well. Pakistan finished fifth in the tournament, which included a losing streak of four games, to India, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa.
Pakistan’s defeat to Afghanistan, their first against the team in ODIs, in particular, intensified the scrutiny of Babar’s leadership, and Gurbaz has now revealed he got a sense of the pressure Babar was under following the defeat.
The Afghanistan youngster revealed that he could empathise with Babar upon seeing his emotions after requesting him for his bat after the game. Speaking to Pakistani influencer Momin Saqib, Gurbaz said, “That moment I will never forget about Babar. We beat Pakistan, and then I asked for his bat. Once he brought the bat, he was so disappointed and I can feel as a player.
“I can feel that you know, when you lost the game and then this, especially in this kind of situation. He was under so much pressure. I remember that I also felt emotional, he is one of the best players, one of the best captains, that much stress.
“Trust me, I was trying to not say this in front of the camera, but I want to say that he was about to cry. He was so disappointed, I have never seen any player like that. Everyone was against him, but I salute Babar bhai, he was so strong, he just kept going, he never gave up. I can say, he is one of the best.”
Gurbaz had also tweeted a picture with Babar a few days after being gifted with the bat with the caption: “Wonderful gift by a wonderful player and human being. Truly gentleman. Chin up, stay strong and keep shining.”
— Rahmanullah Gurbaz (@RGurbaz_21) October 25, 2023
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