Babar Azam resigns as Pakistan captain in all formats

Babar Azam resigns as Pakistan captain in all formats

Babar Azam resigned as Pakistan’s captain in all formats following their poor campaign in the 2023 ODI World Cup, where they failed to qualify for the semi-finals with just four wins in nine matches.

“I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. In the last four years, I have experienced many ups and downs on and off the field, but with all my heart and passion I set out to maintain pride and respect in the world of cricket,” Babar said in a statement announcing his decision. ÔÇťAchieving the number one spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of the players, coaches and management, but I would like to express my gratitude to the passionate cricket fans of Pakistan for their unwavering support during this journey.

“Today I step down as captain of Pakistan in all formats. It is a difficult decision but I believe the time is right for this call-up. I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and to the team with my experience and dedication. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the PCB for entrusting me with this important responsibility.”

Babar scored 320 runs in nine matches during the World Cup, the third-highest figure for Pakistan, at an average of 40 and a strike rate of 82.90.
No official statement has been made about a possible replacement but Shan Masood is the heavy favorite to take over the Test captaincy with immediate effect. Masood is believed to have been at Gaddafi Stadium today.

Speculation about Babar’s future has been increasing since Pakistan’s exit from an indifferent World Cup was confirmed, although it is understood there was little consensus on a possible replacement. The situation was further complicated by uncertainty over whether the current PCB setup had the authority to sack the Pakistan captain. That prerogative normally falls to the PCB chairman, and while Zaka Ashraf currently performs that task, he is the head of the PCB management committee on a temporary basis, a role that Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister had extended to him for three months. . A Pakistani court ruled that the committee did not have the power to make significant changes during his term and should function only on an interim basis. It was widely understood that the dismissal of a Pakistan captain was outside the committee’s purview.

However, after a long meeting at the PCB headquarters where the fate of the Pakistan captain as well as the coaching staff was deliberated, Babar resigned. He didn’t offer a specific reason beyond saying he felt the time was right.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Pakistan team manager Mickey Arthur and head coach Grant Bradburn will not be sacked, another action this management committee likely lacks the authority to take. However, its functions will be significantly reduced; Neither are expected to be part of the traveling contingent for Pakistan’s next tour, a three-match Test series in Australia starting next month.

There has been no official word on who will replace them in the coaching team for that tour, although there has been speculation that Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz and Younis Khan will be part of the traveling contingent in some managerial capacity or another. Zaka Ashraf met the three yesterday, although no reason was officially given for the meeting. If any of them are assigned the task of training or managing the team in Australia, they are expected to do so on an ad hoc basis; Permanent coaching appointments are likely outside the scope of this management committee.

Pakistan leaves for Australia on November 30 and plays a warm-up match against the Prime Minister’s XI at the Manuka Oval from December 6-9. The first test begins in Perth on December 14. After the three tests, the team also plays five. T20I in New Zealand.

It is not yet known who will be the T20 captain, but ESPNcricinfo understands that Shaheen Afridi is the favourite.