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PCB in muddle over handing back captaincy to Babar

Source: PTI
March 30, 2024 16:33 IST
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Babar Azam

IMAGE: Sources claim that Babar Azam wants reins in all three formats. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi has offered Babar Azam captaincy in the white ball formats but the star player has not yet made his decision, sources have claimed.

It has been learnt that Babar has set down conditions for accepting the captaincy, including having a say in appointment of coaches. Babar has conveyed that he should be given the reins of the side in all three formats.


The national selection committee, though is divided on the issue. A former Punjab caretaker minister, who apparently has no cricket background, is not in favour giving back absolute power to Babar.

"Some members of the selection committee now feel the best thing is to let Shaheen Shah Afridi continue as captain for the home T20 series against New Zealand in April and give him a chance to prove his credentials," one well-informed source said.

He said there was a feeling among some selectors it would be best to wait for a series or two before taking a final decision to bring back Babar as captain.

The interesting part is that the selectors including Muhammad Yousuf, Asad Shafiq, Abdul Razzaq, Wahab Riaz and the former minister, Bilal Afzal after meeting with Mohsin Naqvi asked him to make the final call.

"They made their opinions clear to the PCB chief and have now asked him to make a final call and Naqvi has told them to convince Babar to accept the white ball captaincy for now and the Board will take a call on the red ball captaincy after the T20 World Cup," the source added.

This despite the fact that the PCB chief gave clear mandate to the selectors while appointing them to select the captain.

The Test captaincy is with Shan Masood.

Similarly there is also no clarity on what the PCB is doing about the appointment of foreign coaches with the national team.

"As of now the PCB has met with refusals from several foreigners including Adam Voges, Luke Ronchi, Shane Watson and Mike Hesson," the source said.

He said presently the PCB is hoping that their negotiations with Gary Kirsten and Jason Gillispie are successful as they want them to take over as white ball and red ball coaches.

"The only catch is that both Kirsten and Gilliepie are adamant they will bring their own support staff while the PCB wants to make the other appointments as it wants some of its local players on the support staff as assistant specialist coaches,” he said.

Shaheen Afridi contemplates quitting as T20 captain

Shaheen Shah Afridi

IMAGE: Pakistan's T20 skipper, Shaheen Shah Afridi was disappointed that he was not kept in loop as PCB chief held discussions with the national selectors and Babar Azam this week to discuss the T20 World Cup, appointment of coaches and captaincy.Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

Disappointed that he was not involved in discussions concerning Pakistan cricket and his future as T20 skipper, fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi is contemplating stepping down as captain.

A well-informed source close to Shaheen said that the bowler was upset that not even once the PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi or the national selectors have spoken to him about their future plans as far as the captaincy or appointment of coaches is concerned.

"Shaheen is rightly upset as being the national T20 captain he expected that even if the board/selectors wanted to remove him they have the decency to also inform him for the reasons behind this and keep him in the loop about everything," the source said.

The source said Shaheen was disappointed that he was not kept in loop as PCB chief held discussions with the national selectors and Babar Azam this week to discuss the T20 World Cup, appointment of coaches and captaincy.

"Shaheen believes that if the Board wants to remove him they should have informed him by now as he is even willing to step down himself. In fact now he has been advised by some of his close ones to do this and step away from all the chaos and confusion being caused by the Board," the source said.

Shaheen was named T20 captain after the World Cup in India last November when Zaka Ashraf was heading the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Shaheen's appointment was made on the basis of his ability to lead Lahore Qalandars franchise in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) to two successive titles.

But after being named captain, Shaheen lost the T20 series in New Zealand 1-4 and also couldn't repeat his magic with Qalandars as they finished at the bottom of the table in the recent PSL.

Shaheen, who is in the training camp in Kakul under the supervision of Army trainers is expected to hold frank talks with other senior players including Babar, Muhammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman on the captaincy issue and then make a final call himself.

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