Babar Azam has relinquished his captaincy across all cricket formats for Pakistan in the aftermath of the team’s premature exit from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 during the league stage.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has subsequently declared that Shaheen Shah Afridi will assume the role of T20I captain, while Shan Masood will be the Test captain for Pakistan. The decision regarding the ODI captaincy will be announced in due course.
The PCB also confirmed significant changes to the coaching staff ahead of the upcoming tours of Australia and New Zealand in the coming months.
“The PCB has restructured the roles of the entire coaching staff, including Director Cricket Mickey Arthur,” stated the announcement. “All coaches will continue their work at the National Cricket Academy, and the PCB will unveil the new coaching staff for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand soon.”
Babar Azam had been the captain across multiple formats since 2020, initially assuming the T20I captaincy and later taking on the ODI and Test roles a year later.
However, Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India prompted the 29-year-old to step down immediately.
Babar expressed his sentiments in a statement on his social media channels, recalling the moment he was appointed as Pakistan’s captain in 2019 and acknowledging the highs and lows experienced over the past four years.
Despite the decision, Babar emphasized his commitment to playing for Pakistan in all formats and pledged support to his successor. Pakistan’s lackluster campaign in the 2023 tournament saw them lose five matches, leading to their exclusion from the semi-final qualification spots. Babar himself faced a dip in form, scoring 320 runs in nine innings, with a top score of only 74. The former top ranked ODI batter, with an average of 56.72 and 19 centuries in the format, expressed gratitude to the passionate Pakistani cricket fans for their unwavering support throughout his captaincy tenure.