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Babar Azam Declines PCB’s Test Captaincy Offer

Babar Azam Declines PCB’s Test Captaincy Offer

Babar Azam Declines PCB’s Test Captaincy Offer

Babar Azam Declines PCB’s Test Captaincy Offer

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  • Babar Azam declines to be Test captain only.
  • PCB to appoint new white-ball captain.
  • Shan Masood may lead Pakistan against Australia.
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In a surprising turn of events, Babar Azam, the current captain of the Pakistan cricket team, has declined the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) proposal to retain him solely as the Test captain. Sources reveal that Babar was informed by the PCB Management Committee’s chairman, Zaka Ashraf, that the board intended to keep him as the red-ball captain while appointing a new leader for white-ball cricket.

In response, Babar Azam expressed his preference to step down from captaincy across all formats and reportedly left the meeting. The PCB has not disclosed the names of potential candidates to succeed the 29-year-old, but indications point to Shan Masood potentially taking over the captaincy for the upcoming Australia Tour. Additionally, it is suggested that Shaheen Shah Afridi might lead the team in the T20I series against New Zealand and could be considered for captaincy in the T20 World Cup next year.

Babar Azam assumed the role of white-ball captain in 2019 and Test skipper in 2020. However, the team has not secured any ICC or Asia Cup titles under his leadership. The recent disappointment came in the form of the World Cup 2023, where Pakistan, despite entering the tournament as the top-ranked side, suffered an early exit in the group stage. The team set unwanted records by losing four consecutive matches and five overall, marking a historic low in Pakistan’s cricket history.

Critics also point to Babar Azam’s individual performance during the World Cup, where the right-handed batter managed to accumulate only 320 runs in nine matches, averaging 40.00 with a strike rate of 82.90. This World Cup marked Azam’s fifth tournament as captain, following the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups and the 2022 and 2023 Asia Cups, where the team failed to secure any silverware under his leadership.

The PCB’s decision to restructure the captaincy comes in the wake of these disappointing performances, and all eyes are now on the potential successors, Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi, as they prepare to lead the Green Shirts in upcoming international fixtures.

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