PCB meets to discuss national team captaincy amid reports of Babar comeback

KARACHI: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) met the body’s selection committee and other key officials to discuss the national team’s captaincy, the PCB said on Friday, amid reports former all-format captain Babar Azam’s name was under consideration for the position.
PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi chaired the meeting at the PCB headquarters in the eastern city of Lahore, according to the cricket board.
PCB Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, Selection Committee members Muhammad Yusuf, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq and Bilal Afzal, and PCB International Cricket Director Usman Wahla attended the conference.
“The members of the selection committee made recommendations to Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi about the captain of the national cricket team,” the PCB said in a statement.
“Coaches were also consulted at the meeting.”
Local media has widely speculated this week that Babar could make a comeback as Pakistan captain in the upcoming five-match T20 series against New Zealand.
The series is scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi on April 18, 20 and 21 and in Lahore on April 25 and 27.
The PCB, under former chief Zaka Ashraf, had appointed Shaheen Shah Afridi as Pakistan captain for the limited-over format after the national team’s poor show at the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India. Shan Masood was given the Test captaincy at the time.
In November last year, Babar announced he was stepping down as all-format captain following the team’s failure to reach the World Cup semifinals with five defeats — including a seven-wicket mauling by India in front of more than 100,000 fans — and four wins. The team also lost to Afghanistan for the first time.
Babar was particularly under fire for the poor show of a team that was ranked as the world’s top ODI side before the tournament.
This was the fifth time in the last six World Cups that Pakistan failed to reach the semifinals.
Babar was appointed T20I and ODI captain in 2019 before eventually captaining the Test side since 2020.

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