Will Babar Azam remain captain? Pakistan Cricket Board unwilling to perform ‘major surgery’ due to pressure from…


Speculations are rife that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) might introduce a number of changes in the Pakistan squad following the dismal campaign in the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

The Men in Green were knocked out of the ninth edition of the T20 World Cup at the group stage. Despite being one of the title contenders, they failed to progress to the first round after suffering defeats to the United States and India. Babar Azam-led side won against Canada and Ireland, but the damage was already done.

The failure in the T20 World Cup has only prolonged Pakistan cricket’s poor form in recent months. Things have not really been going well for Pakistan since last year’s ODI World Cup. They bowed out of the World Cup at the league stage and Babar Azam had to step down as captain, though he was reinstated as T20I captain in April.

As Pakistan did not perform well at the T20 World Cup, the PCB was expected to make a number of changes to the squad again, as it usually does when the team does not perform well at a major event. However, the PCB might not be able to implement the changes due to opposition from Pakistan’s senior players, according to reports.

“The reports from (coach Gary Kirsten) Kirsten and (selector Wahab Riaz) Riaz will help the Board and chairman Naqvi decide the next course of action, but all indications are that Naqvi does not want a confrontation with senior players, and he has also been advised not to make wholesale changes in the team,” a source told PTI.

“There are so many external voices and pressures from within the system that all those rumours about big changes are unlikely to happen. So basically, with a few changes, the same set of players will be in the Pakistan squad for the upcoming matches and across all formats.

“You can see cosmetic changes, like changes in the selection committee, and the same old story of reorganising domestic cricket to help control the damage. But the senior players are still going strong,” the source added.

Babar Azam’s future as captain is uncertain:

Babar Azam’s future as Pakistan captain is uncertain at the moment as he failed to impress at the T20 World Cup. The star batsman faced criticism not just for his captaincy but also for his batting. There have been calls from various quarters to sack him as captain.

Many have also urged him to step down voluntarily to focus on his batting. The news agency quoted another source as saying that although the PCB has not taken a final decision on Babar if he is sacked, Mohammad Rizwan or Shan Masood could replace him as captain.