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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Will Babar Azam accept T20 captaincy offer?

Babar was removed from captaincy from all formats with Shaheen taking realm of shorter format last year

By Web Desk
March 29, 2024
Babar Azam responding to questions during Captains Day media event in Ahmedabad, India on October 4, 2023. — X/@TheRealPCB
Babar Azam responding to questions during Captains' Day media event in Ahmedabad, India on October 4, 2023. — X/@TheRealPCB

In response to the T20 captaincy offer reportedly made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), renowned batter and cricket sensation Babar Azam has set conditions, saying that he would only accept the offer if he is appointed skipper in all three formats.

Babar was asked by the PCB to become T20I captain, replacing Shaheen Shah Afridi just after one series against New Zealand in January, ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup but the 29-year-old has not yet given any answer to the management, ESPN Cricinfo reported.

Following the conclusion of the ICC World Cup 2023, Babar was removed from the captaincy from all formats with Shaheen taking the realm of the shorter format and Shan Masood becoming Test captain while no skipper for ODIs was announced.

To consider PCB’s request to lead the team in the World Cup, Babar set his terms of becoming the captain of all formats otherwise he will not even consider the offer, as per ESPN Cricinfo.

The chairman of PCB Mohsin Naqvi in an earlier press conference stated that he isn’t aware who will be the team’s captain in the World Cup. Naqvi’s presser gave birth to rumours which are likely to conclude with Afridi’s removal as the T20I captain.

"Even I don't know who the captain will be," Naqvi said. "Whether Shaheen continues or a new captain comes in will be determined after the fitness camp [starting on Monday].

"There are a number of technical factors we will consider, the details of which I do not want to go into. We want a long-term solution, whether it's Shaheen or a new man. And then we intend to stick by that man, instead of just changing a captain just because you lose a match or captain," he added.

Remember, should the PCB accept Babar’s term of becoming captain of all three formats, Shan Masood will have to step down as red-ball captain after playing just one series under his captaincy against Australia in December 2023.

While Pakistan lost the series 3-0, a positive and more aggressive approach was seen by the Green Shirts and they even came close to sniffing victory in the third Test but couldn’t win it.

It is worth mentioning that Babar Azam has so far captained Pakistan in five international tournaments —TT20 World Cup 2021 and 2022, Asia Cup 2022 and 2023, and World Cup 2023 — but the Green Shirts have not won any ICC or Asia Cup titles under his leadership.