Babar Azam wants captaincy in all three formats after PCB asks him to replace Shaheen Afridi in T20Is: report


Last update: March 30, 2024, 12:18 p.m. IST

Babar Azam may, however, agree even if he manages to lead in white-ball formats.  (AFP Photo)

Babar Azam may, however, agree even if he manages to lead in white-ball formats. (AFP Photo)

Babar Azam had resigned as captain of all three formats soon after Pakistan’s early exit from the 2023 ODI World Cup, but PCB would like him to return to the leadership role.

Pakistan cricket appears to be heading for another shake-up months after Babar Azam surprisingly resigned as captain across all formats. According to several reports, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying to convince Babar to return to captaincy in all formats after losing faith in Shaheen Afridi.

Notably, PCB had named Shan Masood as Pakistan Test captain just before the tough tour of Australia last December and handed the reins of the T20I team to 22-year-old Afridi, hoping that the young fast bowler would adapt to the challenge.

However, according to a news agency report IANSPCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi along with the national selectors are expected to meet Babar and convince him to take up the captaincy in all formats for the national cricket team.

The Pakistan cricket team is currently training at the Kakul Military Academy in Abbottabad.

PCB are hoping that Babar will take up the captaincy role for the T20Is and all other formats, replacing current captain Afridi with just around two months to go before the start of the T20 World Cup.

“The decision was taken in an evening meeting between PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi and the selectors,” a source was quoted as saying by IANS.

While PCB wants Babar to take over till the T20 World Cup, the star batter is more interested in a long-term captaincy, which is not expected to be restricted till the showpiece event.

“Babar has already communicated to the PCB that he wants to lead the national team in all formats and has kept it as a prerequisite for considering the captaincy in the T20I format,” the source revealed.

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Sources close to the star batter also advised Babar to press his demands before the PCB as it is the right time.

“The PCB is vulnerable right now. They want Babar for the T20I World Cup. And they should agree to his demands because of the vulnerable position of the board,” the source said.

While PCB selectors discuss next T20I captain and contact Babar Azam; current captain Shaheen Shah Afridi was kept in the dark about the PCB’s decision.

“There is a clear lack of communication between the CPC and Shaheen Shah Afridi, which is concerning. None of the selectors nor the PCB president himself have contacted Shaheen Shah Afridi in reference to the ongoing discussions over his replacement,” the source added.

But news of a likely change has raised eyebrows among many, who have criticized the PCB for its silence on the issue and for allowing rumors and speculation to take over the debates.

Former cricketer Shahid Afridi has said that it would be unfair to dismiss Shaheen Shah Afridi even after leading the team in just one series.

Shaheen Afridi is actively preparing for the upcoming World Cup and played a pivotal role in convincing Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir to return to international cricket and retire.

It was said that Shaheen contacted the two cricketers and brought them back into the team to improve the national team’s performance.

But the way Shaheen was kept in the dark about his likely replacement as captain has certainly raised questions about the working mechanics of the PCB.

With IANS entries

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