Srinagar: Out of favour Pakistan star spinner Usman Qadir had said that his friendship with Babar Azam has caused him more harm than benefits ans are reasons for him being out of team.
The son of legendary Abdul Qadir, Usman Qadir found himself relegated due to a string of inconsistent performances in 2022. As competition intensified and Shadab Khan ascended to the role of vice-captain, avenues for Usman’s return appeared increasingly restricted.
Nearly a year since his last competitive appearance for Pakistan, Usman Qadir has candidly acknowledged the influence of his friendship with Babar.
“My relations with Babar have been there ever since the U15 days. Yes, I came into the team when Babar became captain, but that doesn’t mean Babar brought me into the team. Misbah bhai brought me in the team. I bowled to him and I think I impressed him,” Usman told Cricket Pakistan in an interview.
“Babar was made the captain that time. And you know, when you are just made the captain, you are not given your team straightaway. The chief selector picks the team. Why would Babar bring me? It’s not Babar’s team, it’s the Pakistan team. If friendship was the reason for my call-up, I should’ve never been away from the side, I should’ve played 50-60 games for Pakistan now.
“Okay, suppose Babar had indeed brought me because I was his friend. But I’ve to do the performances, right? Babar can’t hold my hand and make me perform out there,” said the bowler.
“Babar’s friendship caused me more harm than benefit. I faced the pressure, even Babar had the pressure on whether I would perform. People talk about friendships. Imam is closer to Babar than me, but Imam is performing. Still, people criticise him and call him names. If you’re criticising your own players this way, what would other nations think?” said Usman.