Shahid Afridi Slams PCB Over Babar Azam Captaincy

The Pakistani cricket scene has once again come in a tale of grouping and division as leadership changes circulate. This time, the focus is on the captaincy, with replacing Shaheen Afridi as skipper of the T20I format.

Babar Azam, Pakistan’s ace batsman, is once again the captain of the white-ball team ahead of the T20 World Cup, replacing fast bowler Shaheen Afridi. 

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi attacked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) harshly for their move ahead of the 2018 T20 World Cup. It comes after Babar Azam’s re-appointment as white-ball captain.

“Rizwan should have been made the captain”: Shahid Afridi

The former all-rounder from Pakistan also happens to be Shaheen Shah Afridi’s father-in-law. He came down hard on the Pakistan Cricket Board for allowing Babar Azam to lead the country again in white ball cricket.

Let’s say there was a need to replace Shaheen Afridi. In that case, Shahid Afridi feels that Mohammad Rizwan would have been a better choice to captain Pakistan instead of giving the captaincy back to Babar Azam.

Here is what Shahid Afridi posted on X [formerly Twitter]:

“I find the selecting committee’s choice shocking. It was made by veteran cricket players. I still think Rizwan was the best option if it needs to change. But now with this choice, I extend my warm support and well wishes to Babar Azam and team Pakistan.

This means that Babar Azam will captain the Pakistan cricket team once more for the T20 World Cup 2024. It will be taking place in June in the USA and the West Indies.

Pakistan lost the lone series that Shaheen Shah Afridi captained, 1-4, against New Zealand. But this year’s PSL campaign for his Lahore Qalandars was awful. The team only won one of the ten games they played in the T20I series. On the other side, Babar Azam was the top scorer in PSL 2024 with 447 runs scored.

Masood’s leadership in the Tests has also come under fire, with Pakistan’s heavy loss at the hands of Australia. In the next few days, we may also see his removal.

When they play England in late May before leaving for the T20 World Cup, Babar’s captaincy term will begin with a 5 game T20I home series against New Zealand.

Shaheen Afridi comments on the captaincy snub

Less than two months remain until the T20 World Cup 2024. But the rivalry inside the Pakistan cricket team appears far from ease. The decision by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to reinstate Babar Azam as the team’s captain in the white ball format has not been well taken by the players, mainly Shaheen Afridi. 

In response to the recent disputes in Pakistani cricket, Shaheen Afridi has posted a mysterious Instagram story. 

Never place me in a situation where I have to show you my cruelty. Do not test my limits. The Instagram post featured a 29-second video of a lion with the video, “Because I might be the kindest and sweetest person you’ve ever met, but once I reach my limit, you’ll have to see me do some things that no one thought I could do.”

Afridi is also unhappy with the PCB’s choice to name Babar Azam as Pakistan’s cricket team’s captain for the next T20 World Cup 2024. The bowler and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had to have last-minute talks to prevent a public standoff.

The Pakistani pacer is also unhappy with PCB for misquoting him in a news release even for a statement to that effect. The PCB statement, credited to Shaheen Afridi, read, “I will always cherish the memories and the chance,” as told by ESPN Cricinfo.

As a member of the team, I must support our captain, Babar Azam. I have high regard for him as I have played under his captaincy. My goal is to support him as my captain. We are all one. Our goal remains the same: to assist Pakistan in becoming the world’s best team,” the statement said.

Shaheen Afridi leaves the Kakul training camp amid captaincy chaos

Former Pakistan T20I captain Shaheen Afridi is celebrating his 24th birthday on 6th April. He has left the training camp and returned to his hometown Peshawar.

Afridi also took issue with the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) lack of talk over his removal as captain. The 24-year-old was also unhappy with a statement after he was removed as the T20I captain and had things that he had not approved or said. Afridi was informed by the PCB that this error was an internal error.  

Afridi left with official authority and not out of rage, as per the officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

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