"Prime Minister Asked Me..": Shahid Afridi On Babar Azam's Captaincy And Why He Never Backed Shaheen
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam resigned from his post and Shan Masood was made the Test captain while the reins of the T20I team were given to Shaheen Afridi.
- NDTV Sports Desk
- Updated: November 17, 2023 02:12 PM IST
After a forgettable Cricket World Cup, the Pakistan cricket team went through some big changes on Wednesday. Skipper Babar Azam resigned from his post and Shan Masood was made the Test captain while the reins of the T20I team were given to Shaheen Afridi. Pakistan lost five out of their nine matches and failed to qualify for the semifinals. Babar himself did not have a great outing in the tournament with 320 runs from 9 matches.
Shahid Afridi, a former Pakistan cricket team captain and also the father-in-law of Shaheen Afridi, has now opened up about the captaincy change.
"I was saying that there was no need for change the captain so soon. Prime Minister asked me, we were talking about cricket and captaincy. I gave my views, saying Babar should not be changed now. I thought he should continue in Test cricket. If you wanted a white-ball captain, I thought Mohammad Rizwan should have been the ideal candidate. I have said this many times in the past as well," Afridi said on SAMAA TV.
"I talked to the PCB chairman also. I told that Babar Azam should continue as the red ball captain. I told him that one-day and T20I captaincy could be given to Mohammad Rizwan. He was captaining Multan Sultans also. He knows how to take the team forward. I would say that this is Mohammad Hafeez's decision along with the chairman.
“Making Shaheen a captain is entirely Hafeez's and the PCB chairman's decision. I have nothing to do with that. I was against it even when he took over Lahore's captaincy. I told the Chairman not to remove Babar yet. Even if you do, make Rizwan a captain then”, @SAfridiOfficial pic.twitter.com/efL4TqdVlw— Ihtisham Ul Haq (@iihtishamm) November 16, 2023
"In terms of Shaheen becoming the T20 captain, I never wanted to get involved in any such decisions because I know people will say I am lobbying for Shaeen, considering his relationship with me. I don't want to get involved in these things. I would not have criticised the chairman if that was the case. I am saying with certainty that till today, I have never backed Shaheen for captaincy. ," Afridi added.
Meanwhile, Babar Azam Announced his decision with an emotional post. "I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I've experienced many highs and lows on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan's pride and respect in the cricket world," he posted on social media platform X (formerly called Twitter).
"Reaching the number 1 spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management but I'd like to express my gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support during this journey. Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It's a difficult decision but I feel it is a right time for this call."