Babar Azam’s All-Format Captaincy To Face Scrutiny In PCB Review: Report


After a dismal home season, Pakistan cricket is preparing for a thorough evaluation of its squad structures, which may lead to changes in the captaincy. Senior staff members in the new management structure for the board have expressed a desire to let players and coaches know that they are committed to challenging the status quo if required as per ESPNcricinfo. It has not been ruled out that such a challenge may fragment the Pakistan captaincy across formats, depriving Babar Azam of some of the authority he presently has as an all-format captain.

The interim selection committee was established by the present PCB administration, which is itself a provisional arrangement. Saqlain Mushtaq, the head coach of the national men’s team, is expected to resign after his contract expires in February.

After the PSL comes to an end in March, the board intends to do its evaluation and make modifications. Just three weeks ago, Najam Sethi’s administration took over from Ramiz Raja, and since then, they have been aggressively examining Pakistan’s recent results and organisational structures.

One of their first actions was to replace the Mohammad Wasim-led selection committee with Shahid Afridi in order to name the ODI squad for the current series against New Zealand.

However, it appears that the side itself is where the main commotion is happening. Shadab Khan, Babar’s regular deputy who is sidelined with a finger injury, was replaced as vice-captain of the ODI team by Shan Masood, who was appointed by Sethi.

Masood hadn’t really been in the debate since his final ODI in 2019, so his recall came as a surprise. Haris Sohail was also unexpectedly invited back into the lineup after being absent for some time on the grounds that previous selectors had treated him unfairly.

However, some have interpreted Masood’s abrupt promotion to vice-captain as a challenge to both his and Babar’s leadership, which is thought to have produced instability and animosity within the core of the national team, most of whom are devoted to Babar.

Masood hasn’t featured in either of the first two games, as Babar had attempted to downplay the vice-captaincy on the eve of the ODI series against New Zealand by stressing that the appointment didn’t guarantee he would automatically make the XI. Despite the fact that Pakistan’s top four players are currently largely established, ESPNcricinfo understands Sethi has expressed a clear interest in Shan’s inclusion in the XI.

The nomination of Masood serves as an example of how this administration wants to transform the current quo. The just-finished Test home season, in which Pakistan lost three of five Tests and won none, has raised questions about Babar’s leadership despite the fact that he still controls his side and is a highly effective batter.


Strangely, this shake-up is occurring in the 50-over game, the format in which this team seems to be most familiar and at ease. Babar has recently guided Pakistan to the semi-final and final of two consecutive T20 World Cups, as well as the final of the Asia Cup, despite concerns about his leadership in T20 International matches.

Mickey Arthur, the previous head coach, was intended to be brought back by Sethi, who has exhibited a personal interest in creating a new coaching setup.

Although both parties attempted to negotiate a part-time consulting position for Arthur, the PCB stated that it was “difficult to materialise for various reasons on both sides” because of his long-term contract with Derbyshire, which prevented him from accepting a full-time head coaching position with Pakistan.

But Sethi wants Arthur on his team, giving him cricket-related advice. It is believed that Sethi and Arthur had a casual conversation in which they suggested Masood be promoted. Masood played for Derbyshire last summer under Arthur.

He amassed 1832 runs throughout all games, but he was unable to carry his form into Pakistan’s domestic season. He had a top score of 35 and an average of 20.33 over six Test innings.

The newly-elected administration wants to go back to the way things were in 2018, when Sethi resigned after former Pakistan captain Imran Khan was elected Prime Minister. Sethi has already broken down the domestic framework that was put in place after Imran’s election four years ago and brought it back to the one that was in existence till 2018, bringing back departmental and regional cricket.

Mark Coles, the former head coach of the women’s team, was also reinstated by the PCB on a one-year contract; his initial tenure had come to an end when he left in 2019 claiming family commitments.

Ramiz and his board were replaced by a 14-member management committee headed by Sethi last month by PCB patron-in-chief and Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. The committee has 120 days to amend the PCB’s constitution, restoring the 2014 version that was changed in 2019.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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