Former Pakistan cricket captains, Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi have criticized a private television channel for broadcasting a purported private WhatsApp conversation between current captain Babar Azam and a senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) during a live show.

The decision to air the ‘leaked’ chat of Babar Azam has received widespread backlash from not only former cricketers but also netizens, who deemed it a violation of privacy and an unethical move. The channel, its host, and its team faced severe criticism for their decision, accused of neglecting journalistic ethics and moral responsibilities.

Expressing his discontent, Waqar Younis took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter), stating, “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,” while addressing the respective handles of PCB, the private television channel, and its owner.

Shahid Afridi labelled the act as ‘disgraceful’ and expressed concern about the tarnishing of the country’s image and its players. He questioned whether the chairman had informed the journalist about the messages, deeming it a deeply regrettable act if true.

Azhar Ali, a seasoned Test cricketer and panellist on the same show, raised queries about obtaining Babar’s consent before the screenshot was shared with the journalist representing the TV channel. He further emphasized that displaying the alleged message on air was concerning, as it was a personal message.

The journalist defended his action, asserting that it was his professional duty to publish received content and clarified that the message was not directly sent to him.

This incident has sparked a significant debate within the cricketing community, emphasizing the need for a balance between journalistic responsibility and personal privacy.

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