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PCB update: Babar Azam was asked to continue as Test captain, but decided to step down from all formats

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Babar Azam, who resigned as all-format Pakistan captain on Wednesday (November 15), was asked to continue leading the Test side, which the batter refused, a PCB statement confirmed.

Babar rendered his resignation as skipper following Pakistan’s poor World Cup campaign, where they won four of nine games and failed to qualify for the semi-final. After failing to make the top two of the Asia Cup final, reports of a rift emerged from the camp, which was further intensified during the World Cup.

The 29-year-old, who was first asked to lead Pakistan in 2019, resigned from the role today, with a social media post confirming the news. ‘Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is a right time for this call,” his note read.


The PCB later confirmed the side’s new Test and T20I skippers, with Shan Masood and Shaheen Afridi taking over in the two formats respectively. They are yet to name an ODI captain, with Pakistan’s next 50-over game almost a year away.

Masood, who has played 30 Tests, averaging 28.52, was a surprise choice for the skipper, but the PCB confirmed they were forced to decide after Babar turned down the offer to continue as captain in the format.

“Babar was asked to continue as Test captain, while he has been relieved of captaincy in white-ball cricket for him to focus on one format. After consultation with his family, Babar decided to step down and PCB stands behind his decision. PCB respects his decision and continues to support him as a player,” the organisation said in a release.

Babar captained Pakistan in 20 Test matches, averaging 50.79 with four hundreds and 11 fifties. He won 10 games and lost six with four draws.

Under him, Pakistan failed to win home series against Australia and England and drew against New Zealand in the last 18 months. Their only Test series win in Pakistan under Babar was against South Africa, in 2021. His last assignment was in July this year, when he led Pakistan to a 2-0 win in Sri Lanka.

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