PAK vs IRE: Tensions Rise in Pakistan Cricket, Shaheen Afridi NOT Happy with PCB with Babar Azam's Reappointment as White-Ball Captain
Shaheen Afridi (image source - BCCI Twitter)

Pakistan appointed Shaheen Shah Afridi as T20I captain after Babar Azam’s exit, Shaan Masood to lead Test side: Speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi has been appointed Pakistan’s new T20I captain, while Shaan Masood will lead the Test side following Babar Azam’s exit from the leadership role. The decision was rolled out in public shortly after Babar Azam announced his position on leaving the captaincy.

Soon after Babar announced his resignation in public, the Pakistan Cricket Board issued a statement clarifying that the then-captain was offered an option to extend the leadership role in the Test format, which he declined, and his fate in the white-ball cricket was already decided and there was no need for any changes in it.

“After consultation with his family, Babar decided to step down and PCB stands behind his decision. PCB respects his decision and continues to support him as a player. Babar Azam is truly a world-class player and we want him to continue to thrive as a player,” Zaka Ashraf said. “He is one of the best batters Pakistan has ever produced. He is our asset, and we will continue to support him.”

Meanwhile, with no immediate ODI planned for Pakistan, the cricket board has decided to not announce the new ODI captain for the team.

Notably, Shaheen Shah Afridi was touted to succeed Babar Azam in the T20I captaincy. His stint with his Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars complimented that decision. Afridi experienced immediate success in the PSL with two back-to-back trophy wins for Lahore Qalandars. Under his leadership, Lahore became the first side in the PSL to defend their title.

The pacer will be in action in the coming months. His first assignment as the T20I captain will be against New Zealand in 2024. Pakistan and New Zealand are set to play 5 game T20I series, starting 12 January 2024.

On the other side, Shaan Masood’s captaincy stint will be on display as Pakistan travels to Australia for the three-game test series in December 2023 and January 2024.

“Shan has been appointed captain till the end of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25. Shan’s first assignment as captain will be a three-match Test series against Australia in Australia starting from 14 December,” said PCB in a statement release.

“Meanwhile, left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah will lead Pakistan Men’s Team in the T20I format and his first assignment as captain will be the five-match T20I series in New Zealand from 12 to 21 January,” it added.

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