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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Shaheen Afridi 'unhappy' over T20 captaincy controversy

Members of selection committee cite different reasons for replacing Shaheen and did not agree on single reason

By Sohail Imran
March 30, 2024
Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi in pain during the T20 World Cup final against England, on November 13, 2022, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. — AFP
Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi in pain during the T20 World Cup final against England, on November 13, 2022, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. — AFP

LAHORE: The ongoing controversy surrounding Pakistan T20 captain Shaheen Shah Afridi's captaincy has left him "displeased", as the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) selection committee — tasked to change the team's captain — remains "divided" on replacing him as the skipper, Geo News reported Saturday citing sources.

According to the sources, members of the selection committee cited different reasons for replacing Shaheen as the skipper and did not agree on a single one.

Additionally, the pacer has also been contacted by the selection committee on the matter, added the sources

The issue, as per the sources, has been the focus of discussion even among players who are currently attending the army fitness camp in Kakul.

A day earlier, it was reported that the selection committee has decided to reappoint Babar Azam as the T20 skipper for the five-match series against New Zealand. 

Babar had stepped down from the captaincy across all formats following Pakistan’s disappointing exit from the 2023 ODI World Cup after which the PCB appointed Shaheen as T20 captain and Shan Masood as Test captain.

However, following Lahore Qalandars' poor performance in the Pakistan Super League’s ninth edition and the change in PCB setup, Babar has emerged as the top choice for the prized slot.

A meeting was also held on Thursday with PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi in the chair, attended by Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, along with selection committee members Mohammad Yousuf, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq, Bilal Afzal, and Director of International Cricket Usman Wahla.

During the late-night huddle, selection committee members presented their recommendations regarding the national cricket team’s captaincy.

Discussions were held regarding potential changes in leadership for the T20 World Cup 2024 and coaching staff.

The PCB aims to adopt a unique approach by appointing separate coaches for red-ball and white-ball cricket and an advertisement has been published on the board's website in this regard.

While Gary Kirsten is being considered for the head coach role in white-ball cricket, Jason Gillespie is likely to lead coaching efforts for the red-ball format.