Sexual harassment allegations have not affected my game: Pakistan skipper Azam

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Karachi, Mar 19 (PTI) Pakistan skipper captain Babar Azam on Friday asserted that his game has not been affected by the sexual harassment allegations he is facing since he is accustomed to facing hurdles as a sportsperson.

Azam said he is determined to do well on the upcoming tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

'It is my personal issue and it is in court. My lawyer is handling it. We face all sorts of hurdles in life and I am used to it. This issue has not affected my form or cricket,' he said during a virtual press conference on Friday.

Azam is embroiled in court cases in Lahore after a woman, Hamiza Mukhtar filed several charges against him, including sexual harassment, threatening her and making false promises of marriage.

A sessions court in Lahore on Thursday asked the Federal Investigation Agency Cyber Crime Cell to file an FIR against Azam in connection with the case after proper investigation as per the law.

Azam also confirmed that he had asked for the inclusion of hard-hitting opener Sharjeel Khan in the Pakistan T20 squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa, starting with the first T20 International in Centurion on April 2.

'I have opened with him in the PSL and I know how destructive he can be. Yes his fitness is up there but we will work on his fitness and improve it.' He also maintained that discussions held during the selection committee meetings should remain confidential.

'There are always discussions, disagreements and agreements in selection committee meetings but in the end it is always for the betterment of the team and players and shouldn't come out of the room,' Azam said.

Azam also dismissed arguments that had he and the selectors left a negative message for other players by selecting an unfit player like Sharjeel, who could be a liability on the field.

'I don't think Sharjeel's fitness is that bad. We can't expect him to be a Shadab Khan but he has played the entire domestic season and has also performed. He is not that bad on the field and I don't think we have to worry about covering him.

'He is a bit overweight but I am confident with the team his fitness will improve a lot,' he said. PTI Cor SSC AT AT