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PCB Chairman to Make Ultimate Decision on Team Captaincy

29 March, 2024

Pakistani cricketers jogging
Pakistani cricketers jogging

Despite earlier assertions that the recently-formed selection committee would have sole authority over the national side’s Twenty20 International captaincy, it appears that PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi may ultimately make the final call.

Naqvi, a media personality-turned-politician who assumed the PCB chairmanship earlier this year, formed a seven-member selection committee, including former Test players Asad Shafiq, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq, and Mohammad Yousuf. However, it is now understood that Naqvi will have a significant role in deciding the team’s captaincy, despite his initial claims of non-interference.

Sources suggest that Babar Azam is being considered for a return as Pakistan’s captain, following his removal after the team’s disappointing performances in last year’s Asia Cup and the 50-over World Cup. The recommendation to reinstate Babar reportedly came from Yousuf and Razzaq, who have ties to former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Notably, Babar’s previous tenure was marred by controversies involving his agent, who represents several players in the Pakistan camp. These controversies, including disputes over sponsorship opportunities, led to speculation about Babar’s resignation.

Meanwhile, opener Shan Masood replaced Babar as Test captain, and pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi assumed the T20 captaincy, albeit briefly. Shaheen’s leadership faced scrutiny after Pakistan’s series loss against New Zealand, while wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan and all-rounder Shadab Khan emerged as alternative options, given their recent successes in the Pakistan Super League.

Amidst uncertainties regarding the captaincy, Pakistan has begun preparations for their upcoming series against New Zealand. However, the PCB is yet to finalize the head coach position, despite negotiations with several candidates, including Shane Watson, Darren Sammy, and most recently, Luke Ronchi and Jason Gillespie.

The PCB aims to finalize the captaincy and coaching staff appointments in the coming week, thus completing the selection committee.