Former Pakistan player claims Babar Azam is in a stand-off with PCB

Babar Azam didn't take the field in the first hour of Day 2 while experienced wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan led the team against England in the Karachi Test. 
Babar Azam

Babar Azam surprisingly didn't come out to take the field in the initial hour of Day 2 of the Karachi Test against England. The news that came out from the home team's dressing room was that the Pakistan skipper was carrying a headache and arrived late to the ground. 

Being advised to stay confined to his hotel for an extra hour, Babar stayed put at the facility near the National Stadium in Karachi while experienced wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan led the side. Ultimately, though, the regular skipper returned to take the field in a matter that perhaps settled itself. 

However, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has come out claiming that the reason for Babar Azam not coming out to lead the side was something else. Latif has alleged that Babar was in a stand-off with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and refused to take the field. 

The ex wicketkeeper said the cause of refusal was an unfortunate tussle with the security personnel while Babar was heading out for dinner the previous night and a disappointed skipper decided to stay put in the change room as a result. 

Latif claims Babar vs PCB stand-off

"Questions will obviously be asked," Latif was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times. "The reason was not given. Whoever is at fault, chairman Ramiz Raja should look into it. Someone new has been deputed in Karachi but he has to be made aware that they are here to look after the team and its players and not to trouble them. He is the captain of Pakistan team after all."

"This should have been looked into and I think as a protest, Babar Azam refused to step into the ground. I mean, the Pakistan cricket captain is protesting against his own board for his own security. We need to ensure this doesn't happen," he added. 

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Not just Latif, but multiple reports doing the rounds in Pakistan cricket scene have suggested that Babar indeed got into an altercation with the security guards. It is understood that the incident took place on Saturday (December 17), when Imam Ul Haq and Azhar Ali headed to a restaurant in Karachi and one of the guards interrogated the Pakistan skipper. 

As per the protocols set by PCB for the home side, if the players desire to step out of their hotel premises, they must inform the security personnel. On this occasion, however, the protocol wasn't followed, which subsequently witnessed a heated exchange between Babar and one of the guards, as the player felt he is being mistreated while the other Pakistani players are being allowed to leave the hotel with ease.