Babar Azam steps down as Pakistan cricket captain in all formats

Babar Azam

Pakistani cricketer Babar Azam, who has been serving as the captain of the national team, has officially declared his decision to step down from the captaincy role in all cricket formats.

He made the announcement on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), shortly after he met Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Interim Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf in Lahore.

According to the PCB, Babar was asked to continue as Test captain after being relieved of the captaincy in white-ball cricket.

In his statement, Babar said, “I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world.”

He said that reaching the number one spot in white-ball cricket was the result of the “collective efforts of players, coaches, and management but I’d like to express my gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support during this journey”.

“Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is a right time for this call. I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication,” he said.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility,” Babar concluded.

Babar Azam initially assumed the role of T20 captain in 2019, later taking charge of the Test and ODI teams in 2020. Although Babar did not specify the reason for his decision to resign, it coincides with the team’s disappointing performance in the World Cup.

The Green Shirts faced defeat in five out of nine games, including a significant loss to India by seven wickets in Ahmedabad, witnessed by over 100,000 fans. Notably, Pakistan experienced its first-ever loss to Afghanistan during this period.

In response to these developments, the PCB has announced Shan Masood as the new Test captain, while Shaheen Shah Afridi will lead the T20 side.

Additionally, the PCB has altered the coaching staff’s portfolio, appointing former Test captain Mohammad Hafeez as the team director.

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