Babar Azam back as Pakistan White Ball Captain

Babar Azam

The Pakistan Cricket Board on 31st March 2024 named Babar Azam as Pakistan white ball Captain once again. Shaheen Shah Afridi was sacked after just 5 matches as captain. The decision came after Shaheen Shah Afridi’s led Lahore Qalandars suffered 8 defeats in HBL PSL 9. Lahore finished at the bottom of the points table.

Babar Azam was removed from captaincy after Pakistan failed to qualify for the semi-finals of World Cup 2023. Shaheen was then appointed the captain for T20Is and Shan Masood was named the captain in Tests. PCB didn’t announce any ODI captain at that time. The focus was on T20I and Test Cricket for the time being.

Shaheen in his debut series as captain of T20I side of Pakistan, lost 4 and won 1 against New Zealand in New Zealand. While many former cricketers wanted Shaheen to continue and have more time as captain, the PCB thought otherwise. This was mainly because the PCB had many different Chairmen in a short period and every Chairman thought differently. The Current PCB Chairman, Mohsin Naqvi believed that the removal of Babar Azam was a miscommunication, and hence he gave him the charge once again.

Babar Azam’s Record as Captain

Babar’s reappointment means that he will most probably lead Pakistan in the World T20 2024. Babar’s record as T20I captain is second to none. He has won 42 T20Is as captain of Pakistan, the most by any T20I captain of Pakistan. However, he has also lost 23 T20Is as captain, joint most for any Pakistani skipper (with Shahid Afridi).

Many also believe that this is perhaps the final time we are seeing Babar Azam as captain of the Pakistan Team. If he fails to achieve something significant in the World T20 2024, he will no longer be considered for the leadership role. This is because Babar Azam has never won a major tournament as captain before. He led Pakistan in 2 T20 World Cups, 1 World Cup, and 2 Asia Cup trophies. Babar failed to lift any title. His most successful event was the World T20 2022, in which Pakistan ended as runners-up.

Moreover, Babar’s PSL trophy cabinet is also empty as captain.His predecessor Shaheen Afridi won 2 PSL trophies as captain. Babar Azam’s first assignment would be the 5-match home T20I series against New Zealand starting from 18th April 2024.

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