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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Shaheen Afridi Named Captain for Pakistan in T20Is, Shan Masood Assumes Test Leadership Role

Pakistan has chosen Shaheen Shah Afridi as the new captain for T20 Internationals, while Shan Masood assumes the role of Test captain.

Pakistan has chosen Shaheen Shah Afridi as the new captain for T20 Internationals, while Shan Masood assumes the role of Test captain, following Babar Azam’s resignation from captaincy across all three formats. With no imminent ODIs on the schedule, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has yet to announce the ODI captain.

After Babar Azam stepped down, the PCB released a statement indicating that Babar was given the option to continue as Test captain, but the decision to remove him as the white-ball skipper was presented as a fait accompli.

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Following consultations with his family, Babar chose to step down, and the PCB expressed support for his decision, emphasizing their continued support for him as a player.

Zaka Ashraf, commenting on the situation, acknowledged Babar Azam’s world-class playing ability and expressed the desire for him to thrive as a player. Ashraf emphasized Babar’s significance as one of the best batters produced by Pakistan, considering him a valuable asset that the PCB will continue to support.

Shan Masood’s appointment as Test captain signifies a noteworthy progression for a player who made his Test debut over a decade ago but faced challenges in securing a consistent spot in the team. Despite intermittent success and periods out of the side, Masood returned last year for Test matches against England and New Zealand.

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Although the series against Sri Lanka in July featured his first half-century in 17 innings, his captaincy debut will be a challenging away series in Australia, where Pakistan has historically struggled.

At the age of 23, Afridi was widely expected to succeed Babar Azam as the T20 captain. His initial assignment will follow the three-Test series against Australia, with Pakistan traveling to New Zealand for five T20 Internationals. This series serves as the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in June 2024, hosted in West Indies and the USA.

Afridi, having captained Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, enjoyed immediate success, leading the team to win both PSL trophies and becoming the first side to successfully defend the title. The PCB announced that the appointment of an ODI captain would be made “in due course.”