Shahid Afridi Unimpressed With Babar Azam’s Appointment As T20I Captain
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named Azhar Ali and Babar Azam as their new Test and T20I captain respectively after sacking Sarfaraz Ahmed. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy was under threat for a long time. A decision on the ODI captaincy has been put on hold, as Pakistan’s next 50-over assignment isn’t until July next year.
Sarfaraz Ahmed was also dropped for Pakistan’s upcoming tour of Australia. Sarfaraz Ahmed was named the T20I captain following the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, while he took over as their ODI skipper in 2017 after Azhar Ali stepped down.
Under his captaincy, Pakistan won the Champions Trophy 2017 by defeating arch-rivals India in the final. But things did not really pan out in the expected manner after that historic win. The year started with a Test series drubbing at the hands of the South Africa, which was followed by a sequence of 11 back-to-back defeats in ODIs. Pakistan also failed to progress ahead of the league stage in the World Cup. Recently, they also lost the T20I series to Sri Lanka.Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Source: Twitter)
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Azhar Ali and Babar Azam, meanwhile, will start their captaincy stints on the Australia tour. But ahead of the tour, former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has said veteran Shoaib Malik would have been a sensible choice as the T20I captain. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Afridi congratulated Sarfaraz for his contribution before discussing about the new captains.
“First of all, I would like to congratulate Sarfaraz Ahmed. Sarfaraz, you performed very well. You took Pakistan to number one rank in T20Is and led them to win in Champions Trophy. Overall, you have a tremendous contribution to Pakistan cricket. There’s no reason to feel bad. It is not necessary to be the captain for your entire career. You can play as a player too,” said Shahid Afridi before adding:
“Appointing Azhar Ali as captain is a good decision. But I think, instead of Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik as T20I captain would have been a sensible decision keeping in mind the T20 World Cup.”