Babar Azam replaces Azhar Ali as captain of Pakistan Test Cricket Team

Babar Azam waves his bat to his fans after putting a big score on the scoreboard.–File photo

Azhar Ali, captain of Pakistan’s Test Cricket Team, resigned on Tuesday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced.

Ali was appointed captain of Pakistan’s Test squad in October 2019.

However, the PCB said the board would continue to benefit from Ali’s experience in future as well.

Soon after Azhar’s resignation, the PCB announced that star batsman Babar Azam has taken Ali’s place. Now Azam will be the captain of Pakistani teams for all three formats. He was already leading Pakistan’s One Day International (ODI) and T20 squads.

According to sources, the PCB chairman approved Azam’s appointment as captain of Pakistan Cricket Team’s Test squad after a meeting with Ali.

Ali (35), who was born and brought up in Lahore, made his Test debut against Australia at Lord’s in July 2010.

On the other hand, Azam is a top-order Pakistani batsman. He is the only player to be among the top five ICC rankings across all formats. He plays for Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and captains the Central Punjab Team in domestic cricket.

According to a press release issued by the PCB later in the evening on Tuesday, “Babar Azam has been appointed Pakistan Test captain, which now makes him the captain across all three formats. His first assignment will be to captain Pakistan in the ICC World Test Championship fixtures against New Zealand, which will be played in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch from 26-30 December and 3-7 January, respectively.

“Babar replaces Azhar Ali, who last captained Pakistan against England this summer.”

Ehsan Mani

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani confirmed the appointment following a meeting with Azhar Ali on Tuesday evening in which he also thanked him for his contribution as a captain. The PCB chairman subsequently spoke with Babar Azam following his side’s eight wickets in the third T20I against Zimbabwe and congratulated him on his appointment.

Ehsan Mani: “I want to thank Azhar Ali for stepping up last year by captaining the side in what was a historic first home Test series in over a decade. I believe Azhar still has a lot of cricket left in him and Pakistan cricket can continue to make the best use of his experience and knowledge as specialist top-order batsman moving forward.

“Babar Azam was identified at a very young age as a future leader and as part of his progression and development he was appointed white-ball captain last year. With his consistent performance and leadership skills, he has demonstrated that he is ready to take on the additional responsibilities of a captain.

“As we are looking into the future, it is appropriate that we appoint him the captain now so that he continues to grow stronger with every match. I wish Babar all the best and remain optimistic that he will help Pakistan cricket make an upward movement across all formats not only through his performance but also with his positive attitude and result-oriented approach.”

Babar Azam

Babar Azam: “I feel truly honoured to have been appointed Test captain and joined some of the most iconic players who have captained Pakistan in the purist format of the game. I can now say with conviction that dreams can come true only if you chase them with honesty, dedication and commitment.

“I am ready and prepared to take up the additional responsibility and the fact which gives me additional confidence is that I can do the job is the experience that is available to me in the changing room in the shape of players and support staff.

“I want to thank Azhar Ali for the way he captained the team in the last season, which was a difficult one, but I know that he will leave no stone unturned in giving his very best to the team.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *