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Shan Masood appointed Test captain, Shaheen Afirdi to lead T20

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Shan Masood appointed Test captain, Shaheen Afirdi to lead T20

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed Shan Masood as Test captain, while Shaheen Afridi has been tasked with leading the T20 format of the national team.

The development comes shortly after Babar Azam Wednesday announced stepping down as the skipper of the national side from all formats, ending his years-long stint in the leading position, following a humiliating World Cup campaign.

34-year-old Shan has featured in 30 Tests, scoring 1,597 runs, which includes four centuries and seven half-centuries.

Shan has been appointed captain till the end of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25. Shan’s first assignment as captain will be a three-match Test series against Australia in Australia starting from 14 December.

Meanwhile, left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah will lead Pakistan Men’s Team in the T20I format and his first assignment as captain will be the five-match T20I series in New Zealand from 12 to 21 January. 23-year-old Shaheen has bagged 64 wickets in 52 T20Is.

Shaheen has also captained Lahore Qalandars in PSL and has helped the side win the tournament twice in two years in the 2022 and 2023 editions.

The now-former skipper was under fire for several months after Pakistan failed to perform in the Asia Cup and continued the same momentum into the World Cup — where they crashed out before reaching the semis.

“Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is [the] right time for this call,” Babar said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

Babar made the major announcement just moments after he met Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, where, sources said he was offered to remain the team’s skipper in Tests, but he refused.

An official statement issued following the meeting said the PCB chief and Babar met had a “cordial meeting” to discuss various aspects and the World Cup performance.

“Babar was asked to continue as Test captain, while he has been relieved of captaincy in white-ball cricket for him to focus on one format,” the statement added.

After consultation with his family, Babar decided to step down and PCB stands behind his decision, the PCB said.

“PCB respects his decision and continues to support him as a player.”

In the statement, Ashraf described Babar as truly a world-class player, saying the cricket board wanted him to continue to thrive as a player.

“He is one of the best batters Pakistan has ever produced. He is our asset, and we will continue to support him. His batting prowess is a testament to his dedication and skill. He is a role model for the present generation

“We want to see him grow as a great batter and now without his additional burden of the captaincy, he can focus more on his performances to reach even greater heights. We respect his decision and will continue to back him,” the statement added.

Babar has featured in 49 Tests and scored 3,772 runs which includes nine centuries and 26 half-centuries.

Meanwhile, the PCB has changed the portfolio of the entire coaching staff including Director Cricket Mickey Arthur.

All coaches, the PCB said will continue to work in the National Cricket Academy while PCB will announce the new coaching staff in due course for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand.

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