Babar Azam: Reasons for Reappointment as White Ball Captain

Babar-Azam-Limited Overs Captain-BLATZOO Reviews

Babar Azam has been named the skipper of the Pakistani cricket team in the limited-overs cricket. The PCB made this decision on Sunday. So, this announcement means Shaheen Shah Afridi’s one-series captaincy stint as T20I captain comes to an end.

Resign From Captaincy After World Cup 2023

Babar had reluctantly stepped down as captain after the PCB made clear they wanted to name a replacement in November, which led to Afridi’s appointment. At the time, Afridi was the hot favorite to take over as ODI captain, too, though subsequent events meant those prospects receded.

For Babar, this is unlikely to be seen as anything other than vindication. So, after the manner of his ouster following Pakistan’s indifferent World Cup. Former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf had presented his decision to remove Babar as fait accompli. Also, led Babar to put out his statement of resignation. That, a mere four months and one white-ball series later. So, the PCB found itself turning back to Babar placing him in a significant position of strength.

Babar-Azam-Limited Overs Captain-BLATZOO Reviews

Reasons for Re-Appoint Babar Azam as Limited Overs Captain

The Selection Panel has two choices of Limited Overs captains either Muhammad Rizwan or Babar Azam. But, the panel went to Kakul and interviewed both of them. Both Rizwan and Babar are good teammates and have respect in the team. Maybe Rizwan is in favor of making Babar the White Ball captain. Also, the majority of the four newly appointed members of the selection panel were in favor of reinstating Babar as captain. Babar Azam has a good record in limited over captaincy. Also, you can say the only potential option they had.  

Though, he did have certain preconditions before he accepted the captaincy once more. In discussions with the PCB, he wanted guarantees he would not be removed again on a whim following the T20I World Cup in June, asking for a longer stint at the helm. But, PCB has another option that PCB cannot do. Also, they have gone with Shadab Khan as T20 captain but PCB did not do it. PCB should make Shadab as vice-captain for possible future leadership.

Shaheen Shah Afridi`s Removal from Captaincy

The PCB’s brief dalliance with Afridi is unlikely to have done his morale much good. The writing was on the wall for him since Mohsin Naqvi refused to back him at a press conference in Lahore on Sunday. But it appears there has been a rapid loss of faith in Afridi’s leadership abilities when he led Pakistan in one series and his PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars.

Pakistan lost the T20I series against New Zealand 4-1, and Qalandars won just one game out of ten and finished bottom of the PSL table. Part of the appeal of appointing Afridi, still 23, as captain was he could learn on the job and continue in the role for an extended period. I think Shaheen Shah Afridi is not a captaincy player because he has some issues with fitness and injuries.

Ending Note

Pakistan cricket has lots of surprising events. But, this would be more surprising. Maybe Babar Azam is likely to be made vice-captain of Red ball cricket as well. Babar’s first assignment since his reappointment is a five-match T20I home series against New Zealand next month.

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