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April 22, 2024 3:48 pm

Pakistan Cricket Board wants to bring Babar Azam back as captain

Lahore, March 30

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi has offered Babar Azam captaincy in the white ball formats but the star player has not yet made his decision, sources have claimed.

It has been learnt that Babar has set down conditions for accepting the captaincy, including having a say in appointment of coaches. Babar has conveyed that he should given the reins of the side in all three formats.

The national selection committee, though is divided on the issue. A former Punjab caretaker minister, who apparently has no cricket background, is not in favour giving back absolute power to Babar.

“Some members of the selection committee now feel the best thing is to let Shaheen Shah Afridi continue as captain for the home T20 series against New Zealand in April and give him a chance to prove his credentials,” one well-informed source said.

He said there was a feeling among some selectors it would be best to wait for a series or two before taking a final decision to bring back Babar as captain.

The interesting part is that the selectors including Muhammad Yousuf, Asad Shafiq, Abdul Razzaq, Wahab Riaz and the former minister, Bilal Afzal after meeting with Mohsin Naqvi asked him to make the final call.

“They made their opinions clear to the PCB chief and have now asked him to make a final call and Naqvi has told them to convince Babar to accept the white ball captaincy for now and the Board will take a call on the red ball captaincy after the T20 World Cup,” the source added.

This despite the fact that the PCB chief gave clear mandate to the selectors while appointing them to select the captain. The Test captaincy is with Shan Masood.

Similarly there is also no clarity on what the PCB is doing about the appointment of foreign coaches with the national team.

“As of now the PCB has met with refusals from several foreigners including Adam Voges, Luke Ronchi, Shane Watson and Mike Hesson,” the source said.

He said presently the PCB is hoping that their negotiations with Gary Kirsten and Jason Gillispie are successful as they want them to take over as white ball and red ball coaches.

“The only catch is that both Kirsten and Gilliepie are adamant they will bring their own support staff while the PCB wants to make the other appointments as it wants some of its local players on the support staff as assistant specialist coaches,” he said.

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