How Shaheen Afridi reacted to Babar Azam’s ‘unfair’ return as captain, report reveals

How Shaheen Afridi reacted to Babar Azam's 'unfair' return as captain, report reveals

Babar Azam replaced Shaheen Afridi as Pakistan’s T20I captain©

Star batter Babar Azam was reappointed as Pakistan’s white-ball captain on Sunday, two months ahead of the T20 World Cup. Babar replaces fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi as T20 captain. The pacer was withdrawn after Pakistan lost a single series 1-4 against New Zealand in January. The decision to reinstate Babar was taken after a unanimous recommendation from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee.

“Following the unanimous recommendation of the PCB selection committee, PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi has appointed Babar Azam as the white-ball captain (ODI and T20I) of the Pakistan men’s cricket team,” the PCB said in a Press release.

In a recent meeting in Lahore with PCB chief Naqvi, Babar reportedly sought assurances on his tenure and also asked to be made captain of the Test team.

However, a reliable source within the PCB revealed that Naqvi had clarified the board’s position, stating that while Babar would benefit from a good run in the white-ball formats, a decision on the Test captaincy would be taken later.

Shan Masood is currently leading the red ball team.

“Naqvi made it clear to Babar that the PCB will decide on the Test captaincy after appointing the foreign red ball coach and that Pakistan has no commitment for the Test before the World Cup,” added the source.

Babar had resigned as captain of all three formats after a disappointing outing at the ODI World Cup in India in November last year.

He had relinquished his role after then PCB chief Zaka Ashraf told him that he would no longer captain the white-ball formats and would only lead the Test team.

Under Babar’s leadership, Pakistan reached the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. The latest edition of this flagship event will begin on June 1 in the United States and the Antilles.

The source said the announcement was made after the selectors – Muhammad Yousuf, Asad Shafiq, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq and Bilal Afzal – met Shaheen at the Kakul training camp on Saturday evening and informed him that They wanted him to concentrate on his bowling and I felt it was better to have a batter lead the white-ball teams.

Insiders revealed that Shaheen accepted the change and didn’t protest much, but stressed that it was unfair on his part to be judged on just one series.

According to the source, Shaheen’s inability to effectively lead the Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, resulting in their last place finish, coupled with his own inconsistent performances, were key factors influencing the decision to replace him.

“The PCB chairman made it clear to the selectors that they have to decide who will be the captain and also said that they will be responsible for the performance of the national team in the future,” the source added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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