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Karachi crowd’s maltreatment of Imad Wasim – Is it justified?

Shadab Khan speaks in favour of Imad Wasim

The Eliminator 2 of the ninth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2024) made Islamabad United the happiest team as they entered the season’s final after a span of six years. However, for one certain reason, skipper United Shadab Khan was visibly not cheerful.

Notably, ex-Karachi Kings player Imad Wasim joined the red-hot squad ahead of the PSL 2024. The 35-year-old was already under fire due to his reported rift with Peshawar Zalmi’s skipper.

It would not be wrong to say that he was the least loved thing in the United squad by the fans. However, things took a U-turn as the PSL 2204 entered its playoff stage.

Both, Eliminator 1 and Eliminator 2 witnessed fiery performances from Imad, which turned his critics into fans. He was the main reason United reached the final, defeating Zalmi in the Eliminator 2.

Those who criticised him before were seen in awe of his performances. Yet, there was a large portion of people, bothered with Imad, considering his reported rift with Azam.

Although both Azam and Imad have not commented on their bond, Imad’s various statements on TV channels against Babar and some biased quotations portray a clear picture of their relationship. Specifically, Babar leaving Karachi two years back further fumed the topic.

A glimpse of this melodrama was witnessed live during PZ vs IU Eliminator 2 at National Bank Cricket Arena on March 16. While Imad was fielding during the match, Babar’s die-hard fans were recorded lamenting him with ‘Babar Babar’ chants to annoy the all-rounder.

However, Imad’s response to those chants was fascinating, as he encouraged the crowd to continue with their chants, and himself murmured ‘Babar Babar’ with them. Not only this but in various PSL 2024 matches, the crowd’s absurd behaviour with the former cricketer gained attention.

After the match, Sherus skipper Shadab spoke in favour of his player and discouraged the Karachi crowd from such acts. He said the fans should avoid such disrespect to the player who once represented Pakistan, and won on multiple occasions for the country.

In the conference, Shadab added,

“I haven’t had such a conversation with Maddy bhai, but if such a thing were to happen to me, obviously it would be saddening because playing for Pakistan for such a long time, performing for Pakistan, and then our crowd doing such things,”

“Obviously as a player, you feel like, ‘I’ve played for this country, I’ve won matches for this country, and the people of our country treat us like this,’ so it does feel a bit.”

As opined, the crowd should avoid such propaganda against several players. While being someone’s die-hard fan is appreciated, it is highly unethical to chant against others or show disrespect by any means. Regardless of players’ relationship with one another, their achievements and representation on an international scale deserve equal treatment.

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