Mohammad Hafeez takes charge, seeks new coaching team.
Babar Azam relinquishes white-ball captaincy for batting focus.
Shan Masood leads Tests, Shaheen Shah Afridi T20Is.
In a surprising turn of events, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has undergone significant changes in its leadership and coaching staff.
Coaching Staff Overhaul:
The PCB recently announced the dismissal of the entire coaching staff, including director Mickey Arthur, head coach Grant Bradburn, and batting coach Andrew Puttick. Bowling coach Morne Morkel had already resigned earlier in the week. The decision comes ahead of the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand, with the new coaching staff yet to be unveiled.
Hafeez Appointed as Director:
Former Test captain Mohammad Hafeez has been appointed as the Director of the Pakistan men’s side. Hafeez has wasted no time in reaching out to local cricketers to form a new coaching staff for the national team.
Babar Azam Steps Down as Captain:
In a significant development, PCB Chairman Management Committee Zaka Ashraf and star batsman Babar Azam met at the PCB headquarters in Lahore. Following the meeting, Babar Azam has decided to step down as captain across formats. However, he will continue as the Test captain, while relinquishing the captaincy in white-ball cricket. This move is aimed at allowing Babar to focus solely on his batting prowess without the added burden of leadership responsibilities.
Chairman PCB Management Committee Zaka Ashraf expressed full support for Babar Azam, highlighting his world-class talent and stating, “He is our asset, and we will continue to support him.” The decision is seen as a strategic move to allow Babar Azam to concentrate on delivering stellar performances without the additional pressure of captaincy.
New Captains Named:
Shan Masood has been appointed as the Test captain of the Pakistan Men’s Cricket Team until the end of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25. His first challenge will be leading the team in a three-match Test series against Australia starting from 14 December.
Meanwhile, left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has been named the T20I captain. His captaincy debut will be in the five-match T20I series in New Zealand from 12 to 21 January.
These changes mark a significant shake-up in Pakistani cricket, with a new leadership structure and coaching staff in place as the team prepares for challenging tours ahead. The cricketing community will be closely watching how these changes impact the performance and dynamics of the Men in Green on the field.
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