Former Pakistan cricketer, Saqlain Mushtaq, shed light on the stark differences between the team dynamics of the current Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team and the teams of the 1990s.
Saqlain, who himself was part of the Pakistan side during that era, highlighted the exceptional leadership skills of Babar and his ability to create a more united and inclusive environment within the team.
“Babar Azam is very good with the boys; there used to be a significant difference in our time. The seniors would sit at one corner, the juniors would be somewhere else, and the captain would sit along with three guys accompanying him. He [Babar] takes everyone along, never leaving anyone alone,” Saqlain said.
Drawing attention to the camaraderie between the skipper and Saim Ayub, the 46-year-old emphasized that the young players are seamlessly integrated into the team.
He also went on to highlight Babar’s inclusive approach and how it positively impacts team dynamics, even during religious observances like Ramadan.
“When Saim Ayub played for Peshawar Zalmi, you must have often seen him and Babar together. They stay together in the dressing room and even on the food table. During Ramadan, I used to have sehri and iftar with the Pakistan team; although I was with the New Zealand team, I saw Babar not only sitting with Haris but also sitting with Saim; although they are new in the team, he included everyone, and he doesn’t have the mindset that I am alone and others are like this, and I am bigger than them or a bigger star. This is not the case,” he said.
The former head coach highly commended his leadership attributes, especially for establishing a friendly and inclusive environment within the team’s dressing room.
“In the dressing room, it’s not like any guy feels uncomfortable; everyone has the right to say whatever they want, they can give their opinion. So, I think Babar is a great leader,” he concluded.