Babar Azam’s Captaincy In Jeopardy: PCB Hints Change During ICC ODI World Cup 2023. The Pakistan Cricket Board has raised concerns about the future of Captain Babar Azam’s leadership, indicating that it may be at risk if the team’s performance in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 does not show improvement.
Pakistan is about to confront a crucial match against a formidable South African team in Chennai this upcoming Friday, and a loss in this game could seriously undermine their prospects of making it to the semi-finals. The team has encountered three consecutive defeats in the five matches they have participated in so far.
On Thursday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) issued an uncommon press release in response to mounting criticism of Pakistan’s performance in the World Cup 2023 . Just this Monday, Babar Azam’s team suffered an unexpected loss to Afghanistan, marking their first defeat in ODIs against this opponent. However, This defeat has left them languishing in fifth place with a negative Net Run Rate (NRR).
Babar’s leadership decisions have come under intense scrutiny, drawing criticism from several former international Pakistani cricketers, including Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi, and Misbah-ul-Haq, who have questioned his defensive tactics.
In response to the media’s focus on Captain Babar Azam and the team management, the board’s position, mirroring that of former cricketers, is that triumphs and setbacks are inherent to the sport. Moreover, The release announced that Captain Babar Azam and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq granted autonomy and support in assembling the squad for the ICC World Cup 2023.
PCB’s Stance on Pakistan Cricket’s Future
Moving forward, the board will make choices that prioritize the well-being of Pakistan cricket, considering the team’s showings in the World Cup. Currently, the PCB urges fans, former players, and stakeholders to unite in support of the team’s efforts to stage a successful comeback in this prestigious event.
According to an insider with knowledge of the situation, Babar’s future as captain seems contingent on a miraculous scenario where Pakistan wins all their remaining matches to secure a spot in the World Cup semi-finals. Even in such a scenario, there’s a possibility he could be relegated to being the skipper solely for the red-ball format.
Who is considering players as potential successors to Babar Azam?
According to a PTI report, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Muhammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi are currently under consideration as potential candidates to take over the captaincy from Azam when the national team returns home following the World Cup. The source also indicated that the Pakistan Cricket Board is leaning towards appointing different captains for the red and white ball formats.
However, PTI reported that Sarfaraz Ahmed may be favored to lead the Test and ODI sides once more, while Shaheen Shah Afridi could have the opportunity to assume the role of T20 captain.
In addition to Babar Azam, the Pakistan cricket board is expected to request the resignation of the support staff, which includes Mickey Arthur, Grant Bradburn, Mornie Merkel, Andrew Puttick, and manager Rehan ul Haq, following the World Cup. “There are strong indications that Pakistan will see a new coaching staff and captain as they head to Australia for the Test tour and the white-ball series in New Zealand after the ODI World Cup,” the source stated, as reported by the agency.