ISLAMABAD: Off-spin great Saqlain Mushtaq believes Babar Azam possesses all the essential ingredients of leadership but says the batsman will have to sit with the world’s best team leaders to learn the ways of taking along his side.
“I think it is very important for him [Babar] to find out how to lead the team and execute his plans. Obviously, there is a need for him to sit with the best [team] leaders; have a cup of tea with them and do some gossip with the intent to learn how to take along his team,” Saqlain said on his YouTube channel Saqlain Mushtaq Show.
The 43-year-old Saqlain said Babar’s confidence level and batting skills were matchless and he had been exhibiting outstanding performance right from the start.
He proposed Babar should sit with game’s greats like Imran Khan and Wasim Akram to learn the art of leadership, and also asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to arrange Babar’s meetings with Australian greats Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting and England’s Andrew Strauss.
“Whenever Pakistan’s series takes place with another country the management should arrange his meetings with erstwhile greats of that country so that he may pick up their brains,” Saqlain, who played 49 Tests and 169 ODIs from 1995 to 2004, remarked.
He said Babar would also have to establish his own structure and should never compromise on his batting skills. “He’ll also have to learn how to handle media. PCBs media department can help in that,” the off-spinner said.
Saqlain also disagreed with the proposal by some quarters that Babar should learn English as he had to talk during the toss and post-match presentations as well as would have to give interviews to media.
“Asking him to learn English is totally irrelevant. He knows Urdu and needs nothing else [to express himself]. There are several world leaders who speak in their mother tongue. An interpreter can explain whatever he says,” reckons Saqlain.
“However, if you have time there is no harm in acquiring a second language but I believe it’s not that important for you as captain. I believe he has leadership qualities and that’s why he’s been given the reins of team’s stewardship,” Saqlain added.