Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed promising and talented batsman Babar Azam as the skipper of the limited-overs side. On the other hand, Azhar Ali will continue to lead the team in the longer formats of the game. The changes in the leadership came in the wake of Sarfaraz Ahmed’s consistent poor show in the field.
Babar enjoyed massive growth over the last 15 months, a period during which he was handed the reins of the T20I side late last year. The 25-year-old scored runs across formats to earn praise from all across the globe. Babar Azam has some experience of leading at the 50-over format. He led Pakistan’s Under-19 team during at the 2012 World Cup, where he finished as the team’s leading run-getter.
Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq congratulated Babar and backed PCB’s decision to give him a long run. He also wished Azhar Ali, who had led Pakistan earlier. Misbah is hopeful that both of them will play a crucial role in building a team for the future and take Pakistan cricket forward.
“I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for getting captaincy extensions,” head coach and national selector Misbah ul Haq said.
“This is absolutely the right decision as they also require certainty and clarity on their future roles. I am sure they will now start looking to the future and start planning so that they can build sides that can perform at the expected levels,” he added.
Babar Azam has led Pakistan in five T20Is, winning the last two, at home against Bangladesh. Babar also leads the Central Punjab team at the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Furthermore, he has also captained Karachi Kings franchise at the Pakistan Super League in the absence of regular leader Imad Wasim. It will be interesting to see how he copes up with the challenges and manage to bring the best out of his players.