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In a blow to Babar Azam, PCB decides ‘retaining’ Shan Masood as red-ball captain

Pakistan captain Shan Masood (left) reacts with teammate Barbar Azam (right) after dropping a difficult catch on first day of second Test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on December 26, 2023. —AFP
  • PCB decides against appointing Babar as red-ball skipper. 
  • Shan to continue as Test captain for Bangladesh series. 
  • Gillespie will be Pakistan’s head coach in first assignment. 

Pakistan’s wretched performance in T20 World Cup 2024 has ostensibly put Babar Azam’s captaincy prospect in peril as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has “decided against appointing him” as skipper in the red-ball cricket.

Sources told Geo News that batter Shan Masood will continue to hold the team’s reins for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh in August, as the board management is disappointed of Babar’s ability to lead, following the T20 World Cup debacle.

Former Australian player Jason Gillespie will be Pakistan’s head coach during the Bangladesh encounter in his first assignment.

Babar was appointed as the white-ball captain in 2019 and as Test skipper in 2020. Under leadership of the 29-year-old batter, the Green Shirts have not won any ICC or Asia Cup title so far.

Following this and the team’s drubbing in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, the PCB under Zaka Ashraf appointed Shaheen Shah Afridi as white-ball captain. 

Nevertheless, the stint lasted for a brief period as PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi, after taking charge of his office, reinstated Babar as the white-ball skipper on March 31. However, he did not announce his decision about the red-ball format.

On the other hand, Masood was given the Test format captaincy by the previous management.

It was believed that Babar could again get back his Test captaincy but the team’s recent performances have dashed all the hopes in this regard.

Pakistan have been eliminated from the T20 World Cup 2024 after the United States vs Ireland match was called off due to a wet outfield at the Central Broward Regional Park, Florida, on Friday.

The Green Shirts have one more match to play against Ireland but that would be a formality as they are now out tournament.

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