In a high-stakes encounter between Pakistan and England in the 44th game of the Cricket World Cup 2023, tensions ran high as Shaheen Afridi’s ‘Disastrous Drop Catch’ of Ben Stokes became the focal point of frustration for Mohammad Rizwan  and the Pakistani team. The incident occurred during England’s last game of the tournament at Eden Gardens.
— Sitaraman (@Sitaraman112971) November 11, 2023

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Shaheen Afridi’s Missed Opportunity

Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow laid a solid foundation with a robust opening stand of 82 runs. Despite Malan’s departure, Bairstow reached a fifty before falling in the 19th over. With the wickets of Root and Bairstow, Pakistan had an opportunity to tighten their grip on the game. However, Shaheen Afridi’s misfortune struck on the first delivery of the 25th over when he failed to grasp a seemingly straightforward catch from Ben Stokes.

The Critical Moment

Stokes, coming off a stellar century against the Netherlands, faced a fullish delivery on off, driving it uppishly towards Shaheen Afridi. Despite getting his hands to the ball, Afridi couldn’t secure the catch. The dropped chance not only frustrated Afridi but also drew expressions of disappointment from wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

Babar Azam’s Captaincy Dilemma

In the backdrop of this critical game, reports are surfacing that Babar Azam is contemplating stepping down from the white-ball captaincy post the World Cup 2023. The decision follows Pakistan’s disappointing campaign, marked by their inability to reach the Asia Cup final and a series of defeats in the World Cup’s opening phase.

Captaincy Under Scrutiny

Babar Azam faced criticism regarding his on-field decision-making abilities, especially with veterans and experts questioning his leadership amidst reports of a dressing room rift. Addressing the critiques, Babar urged pundits to directly share their thoughts with him rather than going live on television.

A Shift in Leadership?

Despite defending his captaincy, reports suggest that Babar Azam is likely to resign from leadership roles in ODIs and T20Is after the World Cup. This decision comes after seeking guidance from former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja, with a final call expected upon Babar’s return to Pakistan.

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