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Tuesday June 18, 2024

Shaheen Afridi refuses to become Babar Azam's vice

Rizwan, Shadab in the run to become Babar Azam's second in command in upcoming mega event

By Faizan Lakhani
May 25, 2024
Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates after taking the wicket of Bangladeshs Najmul Hossain Shanto (not pictured) during the 2023 ICC Mens Cricket World Cup ODI match between Pakistan and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on October 31, 2023. —AFP
Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Najmul Hossain Shanto (not pictured) during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup ODI match between Pakistan and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on October 31, 2023. —AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan's star pacer Shaheen Afidi has turned down the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) offer of the Green Shirts' vice-captaincy ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, Geo News reported on Saturday.

Sources close to the left-arm pacer have confirmed that he has declined the offer made by the selection committee.

Shaheen's refusal comes after the board, in March, reinstated Babar as white-ball captain, replacing Shaheen, after the newly formed selection committee's recommendation to change the skipper.

The PCB under Zaka Ashraf had appointed Shaheen as white-ball captain following the team's drubbing in the ICC World Cup 2023.

Following the fast bowler's refusal to accept the team's vice-captaincy, wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan is now a strong candidate to become the vice-captain. Meanwhile, all-rounder Shadab Khan is also in the running for the role.

Yesterday, Pakistan announced their squad for the T20 World Cup 2024, which begins on June 1 and will be played in the United States and West Indies.

Pakistan's T20 World Cup 2024 squad

Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.

"This is an extremely talented and balanced side that has a mixture of youth and experience. These players have been playing together for some time and look well prepared and settled for next month’s event," the PCB said in a press release.

"Haris Rauf is fully fit and bowling well in the nets. It would have been nice if he had gotten an outing at Headingley, but we remain confident that he will continue to maintain an upward trajectory in the upcoming matches, as he will have an important role to play along with other strike bowlers in the T20 World Cup."

Pakistan are in Group A of the event, alongside India, Ireland, Canada and the United States.

Pakistan's T20 World Cup 2024 schedule

June 6 — Pakistan vs USA, Dallas

June 9 — Pakistan vs India, New York

June 11 — Pakistan vs Canada, New York

June 16 — Pakistan vs Ireland, Lauderhill