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'Babar Azam hamara badshah hai,' says Shadab Khan

Our captain is Babar Azam and he is resting, says Shadab Khan

By Faizan Lakhani
March 17, 2023
Shadab Khan and Babar Azam at the toss during their sides PSL match at Gaddaffi Stadium Lahore
Shadab Khan and Babar Azam at the toss during their side's PSL match at Gaddaffi Stadium Lahore 

Shadab Khan on Thursday dismissed the impression that he was eyeing the national team’s captain slot and clarified that Babar Azam was still the skipper and is just resting.

“Our captain is Babar Azam and he is resting. Babar Azam is our king and I am his minister,” Shadab said in response to a question during a post-match press conference after his Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Islamabad United was eliminated by Babar Azam-led Peshawar Zalmi.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had named Shadab Khan as captain for the three-match T20 series giving rest to senior players including skipper Babar Azam. 

The move had led to speculations that the star batter was being removed from the captain's role in one format and the board is testing players for the leadership role.

Babar Azam hamara badshah hai, says Shadab Khan

Earlier, Shaheen Shah Afridi was tipped to lead the side, however, after his cryptic tweet, the board appointed Shadab Khan as skipper for the Afghanistan series to be played in Sharjah.

When asked about the challenges in the UAE tour, Shadab said that the Afghan side was a good T20 team and is expecting a good series against them.

“We will have to play smart cricket with no fear,” said Shadab.

Shadab will be leading a relatively young side as many PSL performers have also been included in the squad.

Apart from the series the PCB has also appointed Mohammad Yousuf as the interim head and batting coach for the short Sharjah tour to “ensure continuity”.

Yousuf has been with the national side since last year as a batting coach and has also been working at the National High-Performance Centre.