“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 is currently going through a tough phase. After a poor ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 campaign, which saw the Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team finish fifth in the 10-team competition, it’s time for assessment of the side. And, former Pakistan cricket team stars have not been too kind. From criticising the coaching staff to the Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, the side is under fire. However, according to former Pakistan cricket team pacer, Aquib Javed the treatment meted out to the current Pakistan cricket team is very mild compared to what happened to earlier teams.

“Can’t we now even criticise a team after it comes home post a loss? These guys are lucky. In 1996, I personal experience that I had…we were afraid as we returned (from India). At the airport, even the security people could not reach , we wondered how will we reach home. There was stone-pelting, attempt to put out house on fire. destroy our house. I was hit with tomatoes, rotten eggs,” Aquib Javed said on Suno News.

“When I got out of the airport and was moving towards the bus, I saw people running towards me. And the bus started. Then a jeep came, three-four guys came out and took me inside. I though I was kidnapped. Luckily, it was my cousin, who was in police. he knew that such incidents might happen. He started laughing seeing my condition. When these guys came, nothing of such proportion happened.”

Meanwhile, according a report in news agency PTI, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam arrived in Lahore on Monday following the failed World Cup campaign, with the word going around that he will not voluntarily step down and wait for the the Pakistan Cricket Board to take a call.

Babar, who was received by his family members at the Lahore International Airport, looked downcast as he came out of the building surrounded by security personnel. The insider word is that Babar will meet PCB chief Zaka Ashraf this week and will take a call on his all-format captaincy after the meeting.

Pakistan, the 1992 champions, failed to make it to the semifinals after an unimpressive run where they lost five of the nine league matches. Babar was first made the white-ball captain in late 2019 and, in 2021, he also took over as the Test skipper. He has led Pakistan in two Asia Cups, two T20 World Cups and the ongoing ODI World Cup without winning any title.

The team’s dismal performance in India has divided the cricket fraternity in the country on whether Babar should be retained as captain or other options should be considered.

Prominent among those supporting him are PCB’s former chairman, Ramiz Raja, and former all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who had initially said pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was ready to be Pakistan captain.

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