Shahid Afridi denies ‘lobbying’ for son-in-law Shaheen’s elevation as Pakistan T20I skipper

Karachi: Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has denied his role in elevating his son-in-law and pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi as the skipper of the national T20 side as Pakistan cricket witnessed a major change in guard with Babar Azam stepping down from the role in the aftermath of the World Cup debacle.
Within hours of Babar making his decision public, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) responded by appointing Shan Masood as the Test captain and Shaheen as T20I skipper.
However, the appointment of Shaheen fuelled rumours of a possible influence of Shahid, who married off his daughter Ansha to Shaheen, earlier this year.
“I have always been in favour of Mohammad Rizwan. I swear, I never talked about making Shaheen the captain, nor did I ever lobby (for it). I am not involved in these things. I don’t have to, and I don’t like it either,” Afridi said while speaking on Samaa TV.
Afridi also spoke about how he wanted Babar to continue as leader. “I said that Babar should not be removed from the captaincy. I wanted to keep Shaheen away from captaincy.”
Pakistan crashed out of the ongoing ICC World Cup after managing to win only four of their nine league stage games. This was the fifth instance in the last six editions of the tournament that the Men-in-Green has failed to qualify for the semifinals.
On Wednesday, Babar wrote on social media, “I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world.”
“Reaching the number 1 spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management but I’d like to express my gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support during this journey. Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is the right time for this call,” he added.

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