PAK vs NZ: Babar Azam closes in on Imran Khan’s captaincy record

The 29-year-old is currently leading the Green Shirts against the Black Caps

By Web Desk
April 21, 2024
Babar Azam (L) and former Pakistani captain Imran Khan. — PCB/ICC

Pakistan’s white-ball captain Babar Azam is closing on the legendary Imran Khan’s record of becoming the most successful captain in the Green Shirts’ history in terms of victories.

Azam, 29, overtook Wasim Akram as the second most successful after guiding Pakistan to victory against New Zealand in the ongoing five-match T20I series with 79 wins as a skipper.

Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to their only World Cup win in 1992 after beating England in the final at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), remains on first with 89 wins as a skipper in 187 matches.

Wasim Akram, who comes after Babar and Imran, led Pakistan in two World Cups, 1999 and 2003. The Green Shirts came close to lifting the elusive title once again in 1999 but they were beaten by Australia in the final.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Inzamam-ul-Haq are fourth and fifth, respectively, while Sarfaraz Ahmed, who guided Pakistan to the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 after beating India in the final, is the sixth most successful captain in terms of victories with 61 wins in 100 matches.

Pakistani captains with the most victories

1. Imran Khan: 187 matches, 89 wins, 67 losses

2. Babar Azam: 136 matches, 79 wins, 44 losses

3. Wasim Akram: 134 matches, 78 wins, 49 losses

4. Misbah-ul-Haq: 151 matches, 77 wins, 60 losses

5. Inzamam-ul-Haq: 119 matches, 63 wins, 44 losses

Remember, Babar was re-appointed as Pakistan’s white-ball captain on March 31 after a meeting with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi.

Naqvi, along with the selection committee, saw the 29-year-old best fit to lead the Pakistan cricket team in the upcoming 2024 T20 World Cup.

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.