Babar Azam named Pakistan’s white-ball captain ahead of T20 World Cup

The right-handed batter stepped down as team's skipper across formats last year

By Web Desk
March 31, 2024
Babar Azam will lead Pakistan for the third time in a T20 World Cup. — AFP/File

Babar Azam has been announced as the white-ball captain of the Pakistan cricket team ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup which will begin on June 1, confirmed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday.

Azam, 29, will lead the team in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20Is while Shan Masood will continue as the red-ball skipper.

“Babar Azam appointed as white-ball captain,” the PCB posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“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 met with the chairman of PCB, Mohsin Naqvi, to discuss the plans ahead of the T20 World Cup after which the current Interior Minister decided to give him the realm of the team.

Following the conclusion of the ICC World Cup 2023, Babar was removed from the captaincy across formats with Shaheen Shah Afridi taking the realm of the shorter format and Shan Masood becoming Test captain while no skipper for ODIs was announced.

Shaheen only led the team in one T20I series which was played against New Zealand in January 2023. The Green Shirts lost the five-match series 1-4 which cast doubts on the left-armer’s abilities as a captain.

Not long after, Shaheen, once again, failed in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine as his side Lahore Qalandars — who had won back-to-back league titles in 2022 and 2023 — failed miserably and only managed to win one out of nine matches.

Remember, it was reported earlier that Azam asked to be named the captain across all three formats in order to accept T20I captaincy.

It is worth mentioning that Babar Azam has so far captained Pakistan in five international tournaments — T20 World Cup 2021 and 2022, Asia Cup 2022 and 2023, and World Cup 2023 — but the Green Shirts have not won any ICC or Asia Cup titles under his leadership.