Shaheen Afridi's Captaincy

In Pakistani cricket, changes occur frequently, whether it’s a shift in chairmanship, head coaches, selectors, or now, even the captaincy, reflecting a concerning trend. After the new chairman assumes charge, as is customary, previous coaches resign or are dissolved, and a new selection committee is also appointed. Furthermore, he has hinted that Shaheen Afridi’s captaincy might be in jeopardy, but the final decision will be made in the coming days.

Due to this statement, a lot of speculation has arisen in recent days. Many are in favour of changing the captain, while others advocate for bringing back Babar Azam, or even appointing Mohammad Rizwan as the new captain. However, on Saturday, PCB changed Shaheen to T20I captain and brought back Babar. Pakistan Cricket Board(PCB) has also clarified the main reason behind this decision and revealed the story behind it.

Pakistan Cricket about Shaheen Afridi’s Captaincy Snub

In a press release, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) explained why Shaheen Afridi had been replaced as captain of the Pakistan Men’s National Cricket team. Babar Azam, who will assume the role of the next white-ball captain, was announced on Sunday as Shaheen Shah Afridi’s successor.

The PCB clarified that this decision was motivated by their dedication to managing player workloads, thereby effectively sustaining peak performance levels. Especially for key players like Shaheen Afridi, rotation and sufficient rest are crucial to ensuring their career longevity.

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“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 the board’s commitment to safeguarding the longevity of the players, especially fast bowlers given their injury timelines in the past two years,” the press release stated.

Remember that Shaheen will play in the Hundred League as well as in the ILT20 so his workload is very important in this regard. 

 “Keeping in mind workload management, this decision ensures Pakistan’s main bowlers remain at the top of their game. The board does not want the national men’s team to run into an injury crisis concerning 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,” it further added.

By appointing Babar Azam as the new captain, the board seeks to preserve the prime form of Pakistan’s bowlers, so that they can deliver impactful performances when called upon.

Shahhen Afrid after captaincy change

After the appointment of Babar Azam as captain of Pakistan’s white-ball format, Shaheen Afridi said that, according to him, being captain was an important honour, and he was grateful for the opportunity. By highlighting their shared goal of advancing Pakistan’s cricketing prowess, he underscored his commitment to supporting Babar Azam.

“It was an absolute honour to captain the Pakistan National Cricket Team. I will always cherish the memories and the opportunity,” Shaheen said.

“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 further added.

Babar Azam opened up after a change in Pakistan’s captaincy

The new captain Babar Azam, in turn, acknowledged Shaheen Afridi’s captaincy during the recent T20I series and commended his growth as a player and leader.

“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 for important decisions going forward. We must take advantage of his strategic understanding of the game. Our joint aim is to make this team the best in the world,” Babar said.

After his reappointment as captain, his first task will be leading Pakistan in the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand at home, starting from April 18.

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