Babar Azam gets reappointed as Pakistan’s white-ball captain

In an interesting turn of events, talismanic Pakistan batter Babar Azam has been reappointed as the captain of the national team in the two white-ball formats. His first assignment is set to be the five-match T20I home series against New Zealand in April.

A few days ago, reports claimed that Babar was in line to be reinstated as the skipper of Pakistan. On Sunday, March 31, the official ‘X’ handle of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that the right-handed batter will once again spearhead the Men in Green in ODIs and T20Is.

“Babar Azam appointed as white-ball captain. Following unanimous recommendation from the PCB’s selection committee, Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi has appointed Babar Azam as white-ball (ODI and T20I) captain of the Pakistan men’s cricket team,” PCB wrote in their tweet and also shared a video of the new captain and PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi having what seemed a light-hearted discussion.

Babar was relieved of his captaincy duties in the white-ball formats in November 2023 after the Asian giants failed to book a semifinal berth in the ODI World Cup in India. Zaka Ashraf was the PCB chairman back then. Babar subsequently stepped down as red-ball captain as well. However, only four months later, he has been given charge of the white-ball teams of Pakistan with the T20 World Cup 2024 set to take place in June.

Shaheen Afridi’s captaincy tenure ends after just one series

After Babar’s sacking, Shaheen Afridi was appointed as the T20I captain for Pakistan. He led the team in the five-match tour of New Zealand in January 2024. However, the result was far from satisfactory as the visitors lost the series 1-4. They suffered heavy defeats in the first four games before winning the inconsequential fifth T20I.

“Shaheen is rightly upset as being the national T20 captain he expected that even if the board/selectors wanted to remove him they have the decency to also inform him for the reasons behind this and keep him in the loop about everything,” a source close to the left-arm pacer was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Shaheen’s tenure as the Pakistan captain has now come to an end after just one series. He will be playing under Babar once again during the upcoming five-match series against New Zealand at home. Pakistan is set to play 12 T20I matches ahead of the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.