Sports, Cricket

Babar Azam captain ahead of World Cup

Published : 31 Mar 2024 09:42 PM

Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday reappointed Babar Azam as white-ball captain, in the latest of a series of changes to get the team back on track for this year's Twenty20 World Cup.

Azam stepped down as all format skipper in November last year after Pakistan crashed out of the 50 over World Cup in the first round in India. 

“Babar Azam appointed white ball captain," the PCB announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Following unanimous recommendation from the PCB's selection committee, chairman PCB Naqvi has appointed Azam as white-ball (T20Is and ODIs) captain of the Pakistan cricket team."

The seven-member selection committee, which was re-organised just a week ago, recommended he should replace Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Pakistan battled a disastrous World Cup (50 overs) in India last year where they failed to qualify for the semi-finals. Afterwards Azam stepped down from the captaincy of all formats and was replaced by Shan Masood as Test captain and Shaheen Shah Afridi as T20I captain.

The then-head coach Mickey Arthur was replaced by team director Mohammad Hafeez under whom Pakistan suffered a 3-0 Test whitewash in Australia and 4-1 series defeat in a T20I series in New Zealand.

Pakistan will play five T20Is against New Zealand at home followed by two in Ireland and four in England before featuring in the World Cup in the United States and the West Indies.

In an effort to improve results ahead of the tournament, newly appointed PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi earlier this month announced changes to its selection process, making the captain and head coach part of the process.

“We have reorganised the selection committee with seven members but the different thing is that there will be no chairman," Naqvi told a press conference, adding that each member would have “equal powers”.

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir has also announced he was coming out of retirement, while all-rounder Imad Wasim reversed his own decision to retire four months ago.

Amir's precocious, stop-start career was halted in 2010 after he along with then-Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and fellow pacer Mohammad Asif were banned for five years over a spot fixing scandal.

The team are currently on a two-week training camp to be held at army base Kakul.