After a lot of speculations, the PCB have decided to name Babar Azam as the captain of the Pakistan Cricket team in One Day International Cricket.
Azam had replaced wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of the T20I team after the former U19 World Cup 2006 winning captain was dropped controversially from the team in all formats last year, in the month of October. While Azhar Ali was named captain of the Test side, it was unclear as to who would lead the team in the One Dayers. Due to no ODIs scheduled for the remainder of the season, the captaincy had been in a limbo until today’s clarification.
The PCB made the disclosure while announcing its list of centrally contracted players. In its press release, the PCB confirmed that the Test and T20I captaincy will continue to be held by Azhar Ali and Babar Azam respectively, while also adding that the latter will also lead the side in the 50-over format.
“I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for getting captaincy extensions. This is absolutely the right decision as they also require certainty and clarity on their future roles. I am sure they will now start looking to the future and start planning so that they can build sides that can perform at the expected levels,” said Misbah ul Haq, Pakistan’s current head coach.
Babar Azam will be having a lot of vital matches to lead Pakistan in this season. Pakistan are supposed to tour the United Kingdom this July, where they start with a two match T20I series against Ireland, followed by a 3 Test match series and 3 T20Is in England until September. After that, they tour South Africa to play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is in the month of October. After that, they will be returning home to host Zimbabwe for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is in November. A tour to New Zealand will follow, consisting of a 2 Test match series and three T20Is during December. South Africa will then tour Pakistan for 2 Test matches and 3 T20Is at the beginning of next year, and Pakistan’s Cricket season will end with two Tests and three T20Is in a tour to Zimbabwe in April.
Other than all of these matches, among multi national and global tournaments, Pakistan will be a part of the Asia Cup T20 tournament and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia this year.