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Pakistan appoint Babar Azam as white-ball captain ‘following unanimous recommendation’

Babar Azam and Pakistan problems at World Cup
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Four months after his resignation, the Pakistan Cricket Board reappointed Babar Azam as their white-ball captain.

On November 15, 2023, Babar Azam had resigned as Pakistan captain in the aftermath of Pakistan’s ordinary World Cup. The Pakistan Cricket Board named Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi as the new Test and T20I captains respectively: they do not play an ODI in the next eight months.

Under Shan, the Test side were swept 0-3 in Australia, though every Pakistan team to have toured the nation in this century has faced the same fate. Under Shaheen, the T20I side lost 1-4 in New Zealand. These were the only international matches Pakistan played in the interim period.

Four months after his resignation, the board has now reappointed Babar as the new captain for both white-ball formats. The decision was based on “unanimous recommendation from the PCB’s selection committee”, as the board announced in a social media post.

Babar Azam’s credentials as white-ball captain

In 43 ODIs, Pakistan won 26 matches under Babar and lost 15. In 71 T20Is – the most a captain has led in in Pakistan history – they had won 42 and lost 23. He led Pakistan to the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup – their best result since 2009 – where they lost against England.

Babar led Peshawar Zalmi to the playoffs in the recently concluded PSL. They lost to eventual champions Islamabad United in Eliminator 2. He had a good series with the bat, amassing 569 runs at a strike rate of 143.

Afridi, meanwhile, did not have a great time as captain in the PSL. His team, the Lahore Qalandars, lost nine out of their ten games in PSL 2024 and finished bottom of the table.

Babar’s first stint after being reappointed as Pakistan captain will be in April when they play a five-match T20I series against New Zealand.

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