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 to appoint new vice-captain ahead of ICC World Cup 2023: Ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023, Pakistan is set to have a new vice-captain following the team’s debacle in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to elevate Shaheen Afridi to the role of vice-captain, replacing incumbent Shadab Khan.

The reports of Pakistan appointing a new vice-captain emerged following Pakistan’s poor show in the Asia Cup 2023, which saw them getting eliminated from the tournament in the Super 4 stage. Pakistan lost two consecutive Super 4 games in the Asia Cup 2023 to India and Sri Lanka, which eventually resulted in their elimination.

It can be noted that the step to replace Shadab Khan from the vice-captain’s role is largely a byproduct of his underwhelming performance in the continental event. Shadab Khan could pick just a handful of wickets with a very expensive economy rate. Moreover, he was taken to the cleaners by Virat Kohli and KL Rahul during the one-sided affair between India and Pakistan.

A report published in claimed that the PCB is looking to give the responsibility of being Babar Azam’s deputy to Shaheen Shah Afridi. The left-arm pacer has been a consistent performer for Pakistan over the years and has played a huge role in making the team successful in the ODIs.

Notably, it was also reported that there was an internal conflict between the players in the Pakistan dressing room. Some Pakistani media outlets brought out that there was a clear rift among the players.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and ace pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi were specifically reported, to have engaged in a war of words after they suffered a humiliating loss to Sri Lanka. Babar had, reportedly, targeted the senior players in the team and questioned their roles. However, Shaheen was quick in his response as he asked Babar to at least appreciate who was performing and not generalize the statement.

The argument went a step further as Babar replied that he is well aware of who is performing and who is not. Meanwhile, wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan interrupted both players to end the conflict.

The report added that Babar didn’t talk to any of the team members on their way back to the team hotel after concluding the post-match press conference.

However, these reports were rubbished by the Pakistan sources. They said there is no rift among the players and claimed all are on good terms with each other.

Interestingly, also predicted the possible combination of the Pakistan squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Below is Pakistan’s probable squad for the World Cup 2023.

Pakistan Squad: Abdulla Shafiq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hassan Ali, Zaman Khan.

ALSO READ: World Cup 2023: ICC Rankings of all the Top Players and Teams across the format Before ICC ODI World Cup 2023

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