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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Babar resigns as Pakistan captain, Masood and Afridi to step up

Babar Azam will no longer captain Pakistan in any format following the team’s disappointing World Cup campaign.

Babar met with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) interim management committee chairman Zaka Ashraf in Lahore today and was told he was being stripped of the white-ball captaincy but was asked to continue as Test skipper.

Having discussed it with his family, the 29-year-old turned down that request, but will remain available for selection as a player.

Ashraf said: “Babar Azam is truly a world-class player and we want him to continue to thrive as a player. He is one of the best batters Pakistan has ever produced. He is our asset, and we will continue to support him.

“His batting prowess is a testament to his dedication and skill. He is a role model for the present generation.

“We want to see him grow as a great batter and now without his additional burden of the captaincy, he can focus more on his performances to reach even greater heights. We respect his decision and will continue to back him.”

The PCB moved quickly to replace Babar, posting a tweet stating Shan Masood would take over as Test captain with Shaheen Afridi the new T20 skipper. There was no mention of a new ODI captain.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Babar wrote: “It is a difficult decision, but I feel it is a right time.

“I vividly remember the moment I received the call to lead Pakistan. Over the past four years I’ve experienced many highs and lows, on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world.

“I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication.”

Pakistan won 10 out of 20 Tests under Babar’s captaincy and made the final of the T20 World Cup last year, where they were beaten by England. They finished fifth at the World Cup in India, having won four of their nine matches.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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