“Hit With Tomatoes, Rotten Eggs”: Ex-Pakistan Star Recounts 1996 World Cup Experience Upon Return From India, Says Babar Azam-led Side Lucky

Pakistan Cricket Team Faces Criticism After Poor World Cup Campaign. Former Players Speak Out.

Pakistan cricket is currently going through a difficult phase after a disappointing ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign. The team led by Babar Azam finished fifth in the 10-team competition, prompting assessments of the side. Former Pakistan cricket team stars have been vocal in their criticisms, targeting the coaching staff and captain Babar Azam. However, former Pakistan cricket team pacer, Aquib Javed, believes that the current team has been treated mildly compared to earlier teams.

“Can’t we even criticize a team after a loss anymore? These guys are lucky. In 1996, we had a completely different experience…we were genuinely afraid as we returned from India. At the airport, we faced hostility. There was stone-pelting, attempts to destroy our house. I was even hit with tomatoes and rotten eggs,” Aquib Javed revealed in an interview with Suno News.

Describing the tense situation, Javed added, “When I got out of the airport, I saw people running towards me. As the bus started, a jeep pulled up and I was taken inside. I thought I was being kidnapped, only to find out it was my cousin who was a police officer. He knew the kind of situation we were in and found it amusing.”

Meanwhile, according to a report from news agency PTI, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam arrived in Lahore on Monday after the World Cup campaign. There are speculations that he will not voluntarily step down and will wait for the Pakistan Cricket Board to make a decision.

Babar, surrounded by security personnel, looked somber as he exited the airport. The word is that he will meet PCB chief Zaka Ashraf this week to discuss his future as captain.

The 1992 champions failed to make it to the semifinals after an unimpressive run in the league matches. Babar’s captaincy has been under scrutiny, with debates on whether he should continue as captain or step down. Prominent figures such as PCB’s former chairman, Ramiz Raja, and former all-rounder Shahid Afridi, have expressed support for Babar, while others are considering alternative options.

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