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Waqar, Afridi slam TV channel for airing Babar Azam's 'private conversation'

Waqar, Afridi slam TV channel for airing Babar Azam’s ‘private conversation’

Tooba Shakir 7 months ago 0 1

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Former Pakistani cricket captains Shahid Afridi (left) and Waqar Younis. — PCB/AFP/File
Former Pakistani cricket captains Shahid Afridi (left) and Waqar Younis. — PCB/AFP/File

Former Pakistan captains Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi have slammed a private television channel for airing a private WhatsApp conversation allegedly between skipper Babar Azam and a senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official during their live show on Sunday night.

Their reaction came after last night’s episode received immense backlash from other former cricketers as well as netizens who termed the chat’s airing a breach of privacy and an unethical move.

The channel, its host and its team were censured for their tactless decision as they remained live on-air and were also called out for leaving behind ethics and moral duties as journalists.

Joining other cricketers to call the irresponsible behaviour of the channel, anchorperson and journalists, Younis, too, took to X, formerly Twitter, to share his displeasure.

“What are you guys trying to do??? This is pathetic!!! You guys are happy now. Please leave Babar Azam alone. He’s an asset of Pakistan Cricket,” the veteran cricketer said, adding the X handles of PCB, the private television channel and its owner in his post.

On the other hand, Shahid Afridi, while talking on a private channel termed the act as ‘disgraceful’.

“We are defaming our own country and players ourselves. How can you show someone’s private messages? Did the chairman tell the journalist? If the chairman did so, it’s a very disgraceful act.”

“Don’t we all deserve much better  — both on and off the field?” Afridi said on his X account.

Meanwhile, Azhar Ali, a veteran Test cricketer and a panellist in the same show, also questioned if consent was taken from Babar before the screenshot was sent to the journalist who works for the said TV channel.

“Did they take Babar’s permission before forwarding the message to him?” Ali asked while pointing towards the journalist who shared the chat with the channel’s team.

The Test cricketer also asked if Babar’s consent was taken before displaying the alleged message on air, as it was a “personal message”.

The journalist, however, defended his act saying that it is his “job” to run something when received. “He did not send the personal message to me.”

Chat-leak controversy 

It is pertinent to know that reports were circulating on social media, which gained strength after former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif’s comments, that the senior management of the PCB was ignoring Babar’s messages.

The controversy, however, arose when Babar’s private WhatsApp chat, with a senior PCB official, was aired and publicly debated on a private news channel.

The chat showed text messages exchanged between the duo where the skipper denied calling PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf when asked about the rumours that he was trying to call the board’s chief with the latter answering his calls.

“Babar, there’s also been this news circulating on TV and social media that you have been calling Chairman and he’s not answering. Have you called him recently?”

Responding to this Babar said: “Salam Salman bhai, ma nay to sir ko koi call nai ke [Salam Salman bhai, I have not made any calls to sir].”

The anchor, Waseem Badami, later apologized for the “wrong decision” to air a private chat between two individuals.

“It was a private convo, it shouldn’t have been aired without consent,” Badami said.

“So, if it had hurt anyone. I apologise from the core of my heart and I’m not just proud of it […] we are not proud of it,” he added.

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