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Pakistan Cricket: Babar Azam Steps Down as Captain in All Formats

Babar Azam, the Pakistan Skipper, has announced his decision to step down as captain in all formats of the game. Learn more about this development and its impact on Pakistani cricket.

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Pakistan Former Skipper Babar Azam during ICC ODI World Cup 2023

Pakistan cricket has witnessed a significant change in leadership as Babar Azam, the talented batsman, has stepped down as captain across all formats of the game. This decision comes after Pakistan's disappointing exit from the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 during the league stage. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced that Shaheen Shah Afridi will take over as the captain of the T20I team, while Shan Masood will lead the Test side. A decision regarding the ODI captaincy is yet to be made. Moreover, the PCB has also revealed that there will be substantial changes to the coaching staff in preparation for the upcoming tours of Australia and New Zealand.

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Babar Azam's Captaincy Journey

Babar Azam has been the multi-format captain for Pakistan since 2020, initially taking charge of the T20 side before also assuming the ODI and Test captaincy a year later. During his tenure, he experienced both highs and lows on and off the field, aiming to maintain Pakistan's pride and respect in the cricket world. Under his leadership, Pakistan reached the number one spot in the white-ball format, a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management.

Reflecting on his captaincy journey, Babar expressed gratitude towards the passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support throughout this period. However, after the team's underwhelming performance in the Cricket World Cup 2023, Babar made the difficult decision to step down as captain in all formats, believing it to be the right time for this call.

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Team Performance and Babar's Contribution

Pakistan faced a disappointing campaign in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, losing five matches and failing to qualify for the semi-finals. Babar Azam himself struggled to find his form with the bat, scoring 320 runs in nine innings, with a top score of just 74. This performance was below his usual standards, considering he was once the top-ranked ODI batter in the world, boasting an impressive average of 56.72 with 19 centuries.

Despite stepping down as captain, Babar Azam will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. He has expressed his dedication and support for the new captain and the team, offering his experience to contribute towards their success.

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The PCB's Statement

The PCB issued a statement acknowledging the change in the coaching staff and the new captaincy appointments. The statement confirmed that the coaching staff, including Director Cricket Mickey Arthur, will undergo a portfolio change, and all coaches will continue their work in the National Cricket Academy. The PCB will announce the new coaching staff for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand in due course.

Zaka Ashraf, Chairman of the PCB Management Committee, spoke highly of Babar Azam, considering him a world-class player and one of Pakistan's best batters. The PCB intends to support him in his future endeavors, allowing him to focus on his performances without the additional burden of captaincy.

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Future Prospects and Expectations

With Babar Azam stepping down as captain, Pakistan cricket enters a new chapter with fresh leadership. Shaheen Shah Afridi has been appointed as the T20I captain, and Shan Masood will lead the Test team. Both players have showcased their skills and potential on the field, and this opportunity will allow them to further develop as leaders.

The decision regarding the ODI captaincy is yet to be made, and the PCB will carefully evaluate the candidates before announcing the new captain. This process ensures that the right individual is chosen to lead the team and guide them towards success.

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The upcoming tours of Australia and New Zealand present a challenging test for the new captain and the team as they face formidable opponents in their respective conditions. The changes in the coaching staff will also bring fresh perspectives and strategies to enhance the team's performance.


Conclusion

Babar Azam's decision to step down as captain in all formats marks a significant moment in Pakistan cricket. While his captaincy journey had its ups and downs, his dedication and passion for the game were evident throughout. As he continues to represent Pakistan as a player, he will work alongside the new captain and contribute his experience to the team's success.

With new leadership and changes in the coaching staff, Pakistan cricket looks towards the future with optimism. The appointments of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shan Masood as captains in the T20I and Test formats, respectively, bring fresh perspectives and opportunities for growth. The upcoming tours of Australia and New Zealand will test the team's mettle, and Pakistan cricket fans eagerly await the team's performance under the new leadership.

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