CWC 2023: Mickey Arthur warns of ‘witch hunt’ against Babar Azam after loss against South Africa

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur warned of a ‘witch hunt’ against Babar Azam and team management after their fourth consecutive loss at the ODI World Cup 2023. Denting their semi-final hopes, the South Asian side lost to South Africa by one wicket on October 27, Friday, at the MA Chidambaram, Chennai. After defeats to neighbours India and five-time champions Australia, the Babar Azam-led side slumped to Afghanistan by a margin of eight wickets before they were beaten by the Proteas. 

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The 1992 champions now sit at sixth in the standings and are on the brink of exit from the marquee tournament. Despite their loss in the ongoing quadrennial tournament, team head coach Mickey Arthur came in defence of the Men in Green and warned of a ‘witch hunt’ against the skipper, management and selector. 

Arthur was quoted by Reuters as saying, “It’s really unfair to start a witch hunt, certainly on Babar Azam, on Inzi (chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq), on our coaches, on the management team. What I do know is the boys have tried, and the effort of the coaching staff, the effort of the players has been first-class. If they would see the amount of effort that the players and staff put in, they would be amazed.”

Commenting on the loss, the beach coach said, “Tonight is a totally different feeling in that dressing room to the Afghanistan game. The Afghanistan game was… we were average in all departments. Tonight, we were OK with the bat, I thought we were very good with the ball. I’m really proud of those because they fought right to the bitter end.”

Notably, Pakistan had posted a target of 271 runs for their rivals, and despite a decent performance by the bowling department, the Asian team narrowly missed the victory. 

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