Shaheen Afridi reacts after being removed as Pakistan's T20 captain

Babar Azam has been reappointed

By Web Desk
March 31, 2024
Shaheen Afridi only led in one series. - PCB

Pacer Shaheen Afridi has reacted to his ouster as Pakistan's T20I captain in a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

The 23-year-old was replaced by Babar Azam, who returns as white-ball skipper after just one series.

Shaheen shed light on playing under Babar again and stressed the aim under which they are represeting Pakistan.

“It was an absolute honour to captain the Pakistan National Cricket Team. I will always cherish the memories and the opportunity. As a team player, it is my duty to back our captain, Babar Azam.

"I have played under his captaincy and have nothing but respect for him. I will try to help him on and off the field. We are all one. Our aim is the same, to help Pakistan become the best team in the world," he stated.

Meanwhile, Babar said that he will keep consulting Shaheen on the important decisions going forward.

"It was a pleasure to play under Shaheen’s leadership in the recent T20I series. He is still young and is improving as a player and as a leader every day. As a captain, I have always valued his input and I will keep consulting him. We must take advantage of his strategic understanding of the game. Our joint aim is to make this team the best in the world.”

On the other hand, PCB explained the reason for overhauling the white-ball leadership.

"While Shaheen Afridi has undeniably proven himself as a star fast bowler, leading Pakistan’s pace attack over the years, the board recognises the importance of rotation and rest to maintain his peak performance. This decision aligns with board's commitment to safeguarding the longevity of the players, especially fast bowlers given their injury timelines in the past two years."

"Keeping in mind workload management, this decision is to ensure Pakistan's main bowlers remain at the top of their game. The board does not want the national men’s team to run into injury crisis concerning the bowling resources as seen before the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, where Shaheen had to be closely looked after and ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023, where the team didn’t have the services of Naseem Shah."

The statement concluded by thanking Shaheen for his services as captain. "He will be part of Pakistan’s core leadership group. We give our unequivocal support to both Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi as they embark on their respective roles, aiming to make Pakistan a top team in the world of cricket."