Lashing out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for excluding Babar Azam from the T20I Team of the decade, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said the governing body was announcing the Indian Premier League (IPL) XI rather than the World XI.
Pakistan skipper Azam is currently the second-ranked batsman in the ICC rankings for T20 batsmen. Taking to his Youtube channel, Akhtar launched a scathing attack on ICC, saying that it was ruining the game for money.
"I think ICC forgot that Pakistan is also an ICC member and they also play T20 cricket. They did not think they could include a batsman like Babar Azam, who is currently the top-ranked in the T20 rankings. They did not pick a single player from Pakistan. We don't need your T20 Team of the Decade because I think you announced the IPL team, not the world team," Akhtar said.
"There are no proper fast bowlers emerging now. They (ICC) have introduced three powerplays, two new balls. Where is Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thompson, the big five of West Indian cricket, Wasim (Akram), Waqar (Younis)? Where are the world's fastest bowlers and the best leg spinners? They have all vanished because the ICC has commercialised cricket and allowed 10 leagues to make money."
"ICC should have made it clear that they are only interested in the TV rights the money."
On Sunday, the ICC included Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in its T20 Team of the decade, with Dhoni as the skipper.
"They want two World Cups in three years and just leagues. If there is no Sachin vs Shoaib then what's the point of watching cricket? Babar Azam is huge in T20 cricket. He is the top-scorer for Pakistan, and his caliber is reflected in his averages, even in comparison with Virat Kohli. It is embarrassing," Akhtar said.