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Leaked Audio Unravels Plot Against Babar Azam

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An audio leak, allegedly featuring Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) interim management committee chairman, Zaka Ashraf, has laid bare plans to remove Babar Azam as the national team’s all-format captain. While Babar had already stepped down after the World Cup, the leaked audio delves into the circumstances surrounding his decision, hinting at orchestrated strategies to force his resignation.

The authenticity of the leaked audio was reportedly confirmed by a source familiar with the matter, acknowledging the PCB chief’s voice in the recording. In the conversation, purportedly a private discussion with a family member, Ashraf discusses the appointments of Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi as Test and T20 captains, respectively. The dialogue also delves into the influence of player agents and accusations of favoritism within the team, with Babar allegedly recruiting close friends.

According to the leaked audio, Ashraf reveals a preconceived backup plan for when Babar would relinquish the captaincy. “I asked Babar to stay on as Test captain, but told him that I was thinking of removing him as the white-ball captain,” the voice attributed to Zaka Ashraf discloses. The leaked conversation suggests that Babar’s decision-making was influenced by Talha Re­mani, the CEO of Saya Corporation, with Ashraf having a contingency plan in place. The PCB chief doesn’t specify whether he called Shan or Shaheen but indicated a strategic response when Babar expressed his intention to step down.

The leak also implicates Babar in player selection decisions during the World Cup, highlighting allegations of close friendships impacting team choices. Ashraf expresses discontent with the influence of Saya Corporation CEO Talha, accusing him of controlling eight national team players and building extensive relationships with their families. The voice attributed to Ashraf emphasizes the need for a review of the PCB’s policy regarding player agents, contemplating a potential cap of two players per agent.

The leaked audio provides a rare glimpse into the intricate dynamics and decision-making processes within Pakistan cricket, adding a layer of controversy to the sport. As the PCB faces scrutiny and potential policy revisions, cricket enthusiasts await further developments in this unfolding saga.

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