Babar Azam, a stalwart of Pakistan cricket, has been reappointed as the men’s national team’s skipper and ODI and T20I format. Babar had relinquished his responsibility as Pakistan’s captain across formats after the end of the 2023 ODI World Cup. But, the PCB decided to hand him the team’s leadership responsibility again, under the chairmanship of Mohsin Naqvi.

In a post, the Pakistan Cricket Board wrote: “Babar Azam appointed as white-ball captain. Following unanimous recommendation from the PCB’s selection committee, Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi has appointed Babar Azam as white-ball (ODI and T20I) captain of the Pakistan men’s cricket team.”

Babar will replace Shaheen Shah Afridi as the team’s T20I skipper. An ODI captain was ever officially appointed by the PCB after Babar’s exit while Shan Masood is the current Test captain, having led the side in a three-match series in Australia.

Masood will continue to lead Pakistan in Test despite suffering a defeat in his previous assignment, against Australia. In the T20I spectrum, Pakistan lost Afridi’s first series as captain by a 4-1 margin. The fast bowler’s PSL side, Lahore Qalandars, couldn’t do much in the T20 league either, making the stakeholders question his appointment as the captain in the shortest format.

The current selection panel, as per PCB’s statement, has fully backed Babar’s return as the team’s white-ball captain. The selection committee comprises of Wahab Riaz, Asad Shafiq, Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Yousuf.

Babar’s first assignment after reclaiming captaincy will be against New Zealand at home in a five-match T20I series before the Pakistan team takes on England away for four more T20Is. The big assignment will be the T20 World Cup later this year.

Babar’s appointment as the skipper, however, does deliver a blow to Shaheen Shah Afridi who was hoping to lead the team in the T20 World Cup.

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