Babar Azam, the gifted batsman and captain of the Pakistan cricket team, has announced his resignation from the captaincy across all formats of the game. Babar’s decision comes in the wake of Pakistan’s exit from the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 during the league stage.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) swiftly responded to Babar Azam’s resignation, revealing that Shaheen Shah Afridi would take over as the captain of the T20I side, while Shan Masood would assume the role of Test captain. The appointment of the ODI captain is expected to be announced in the near future.
Additionally, the PCB announced significant changes to the coaching staff in preparation for the upcoming tours of Australia and New Zealand. The statement released by the PCB stated, “The PCB has changed the portfolio of the entire coaching staff, including Director Cricket Mickey Arthur. All coaches will continue to work in the National Cricket Academy, while PCB will announce the new coaching staff in due course for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand.”
Babar Azam, who has been at the helm of Pakistan cricket since 2020, leading the team in all three formats, has made the decision to step down immediately following Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India.
In a heartfelt statement shared on his social media channels, Babar expressed his gratitude and reflected on his tenure as captain, saying, “I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world.”
Babar Azam acknowledged the unwavering support of Pakistan’s cricket fans and expressed his commitment to continue representing Pakistan as a player in all three formats. He also pledged his support to the incoming captain, stating, “I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication.”
Despite his resignation from captaincy duties, Babar Azam will remain an integral part of Pakistan’s cricket setup, and his wealth of experience is expected to be a valuable asset to the team’s future endeavors.
Babar Azam’s decision to step down from the captaincy came in the wake of Pakistan’s underwhelming performance in the 2023 World Cup, where they suffered five defeats, failing to qualify for the semi-finals. Babar himself had a challenging tournament, amassing 320 runs in nine innings with a high score of just 74.
Zaka Ashraf, Chairman of the PCB Management Committee, praised Babar Azam’s contribution to Pakistan cricket, saying, “Babar Azam is truly a world-class player, and we want him to continue to thrive as a player. He is one of the best batters Pakistan has ever produced. He is our asset, and we will continue to support him.”
Ashraf further emphasized that without the additional burden of captaincy, Babar can focus more on his performances and reach greater heights as a cricketer.