Babar Azam: Pakistan captain 'must be taken on a journey' with captaincy, says Mickey Arthur

Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur says Babar Azam is not the finished article as captain and must be allowed time to develop in the role.

Babar's position has been scrutinised during this World Cup after Pakistan failed to make the semi-finals.

England ended Pakistan's last-four hopes with a 93-run win in Kolkata.

"I will get behind Babar. He is a young and someone I am close to. He needs to be taken on a journey with and shown the ropes," Arthur said.

"He's learning every day. We know he's a fine batter and he learns every day with his captaincy.

"He's growing and we must allow him the time to do that. It's not a crime to make mistakes as long as you learn from them."

Babar, the number one ranked ODI batter heading into the tournament, was appointed one-day captain in May 2020.

He led Pakistan to the final of the T20 World Cup last November, where they lost to England.

Despite a disappointing World Cup campaign Arthur, who was appointed team director in April, maintained there should not be wholesale changes to the Pakistan squad. "There's always outside noise. We have to create a stable environment with consistent messaging. Only then players will grow," he added.

"Consistency around selection, the brand of cricket and the trust factor stayed with the team. That breeds success.

"What we have seen is our game is behind the eight ball and our game needs to go to another level."

There had been speculation ahead of the match against England that Babar would quit as captain of Pakistan's white ball side.

However, the 29-year-old, who has played 116 one-day internationals and 104 T20 internationals for Pakistan indicated he was "keen to lead the rebuild" in his post-match presentation.

'Babar is under so much pressure'

Former Pakistan batter Ramiz Raja said Babar was "depressed" at the "cold hearted" reaction of the media back home.

Raja, who served as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board from September 2021 and December 2022, suggested Babar could be forced out regardless of his desire to continue as captain.

"There's so much pressure on him that he may leave the job," Raja told BBC Test Match Special.

"Back home there has obviously been a massive backlash, as expected. They [the Pakistan media] have targeted certain players, and especially Babar Azam.

"I think the nucleus will remain the same, and Babar will remain as important as he is right now. There's a lot of talent on a day which can surprise any side so there is potential.

"It's just a World Cup so you have to take the heat somehow. The problem with this team is it has the potential to play modern day cricket but they have been a bit shy and timid with their approach."