An alleged private WhatsApp chat between Babar Azam, and the COO of PCB Salman Naseer was leaked and discussed during a live TV show. The discussion on leaked conversion has created a storm on social media including the former cricketer Azhar Ali who was present at the show. Many have criticized this as a breach of privacy and unethical behavior.
Reports on social media had suggested that the PCB’s senior management was ignoring Babar Azam’s messages. Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif added fuel to the fire when he claimed on PTV Sports that Babar had been trying to contact PCB Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf, Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, and Director of International Cricket Usman Wahla for the past two days, but none of them had responded to his messages.
During the TV show, a screenshot of an alleged WhatsApp chat between Babar Azam and an unnamed individual was displayed. In the chat, the individual asked Babar if he had called the PCB Chairman, to which Babar allegedly responded that he had not made any calls to him. The date of the communication was not mentioned in the screenshot.
Azhar Ali, a former Pakistan cricketer who was a guest on the show, questioned the reporter about whether he had obtained Babar’s consent before leaking the private communication. The reporter responded that, as a journalist, he didn’t need to ask for consent.
This move by the TV channel and the reporter has faced strong criticism from netizens and the public, with many deeming it unethical.
The anchor of the show, Waseem Badami, later issued an apology on behalf of his team and the TV management. He explained that a wrong decision had been made to broadcast the alleged WhatsApp chat. Badami stated that they had initially decided against airing it before the show but changed their minds after coming across a video clip in which the PCB chief reportedly permitted the chat to be shown and took full responsibility for it.
Badami admitted that the decision to broadcast the chat was made in haste, just minutes before the show, and they were unsure whether Babar Azam had consented to it being aired in a live show. He acknowledged that it was not an ideal decision and apologized to anyone who may have been hurt by it. He promised to learn from this mistake and not repeat it in the future.
It’s worth noting that the PCB chief’s purported permission is not relevant in this matter, as the chat involved two private individuals, neither of whom was Zaka Ashraf. An official statement from the PCB could provide clarity on this issue.