Shahid Afridi believes "Rizwan was best choice" for Pakistan T20I captain ahead of Babar Azam

Sports Monday 01/April/2024 06:19 AM
Shahid Afridi believes "Rizwan was best choice" for Pakistan T20I captain ahead of Babar Azam

New Delhi : Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi believes that Mohammad Rizwan was the "best choice" as the T20I captain ahead of Babar Azam.

On Sunday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reappointed star batter Babar Azam as their white-ball captain, two months before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, which will start on June 1 in the West Indies/USA.

Afridi didn't hold back from expressing how surprised he was at PCB's decision but is ready to offer his full support to the team and the newly appointed skipper.

"I am surprised by the decision by very experienced cricketers in the selection committee. I still believe that if change was necessary than Rizwan was the best choice! But since now the decision has been made I offer my full support and best wishes to team Pakistan and Babar Azam," Afridi wrote on X.

Babar Azam replaced Shaheen Afridi as the skipper of the Pakistan team. Last year, after the conclusion of the ODI World Cup, Babar decided to step down from the captaincy of all formats.

Afridi was announced as his replacement for the T20 format, while, Shan Masood took the charge in the Test format.

After being appointed in November 2023, Afridi has only led Pakistan in a single T20I series against New Zealand. In his debut series, Pakistan were outplayed throughout the series and ended up suffering a 4-1 defeat.

Afridi's potential to lead came under scrutiny during the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which was held earlier this year. Under his leadership, Lahore Qalandars won a single game in ten matches and finished at the bottom of the table.

Azam's first assignment after reappointment as captain will be the upcoming five-match home T20I series against New Zealand from April 18 onwards. With the T20 World Cup just two months away, Pakistan would aim to enhance their preparations for the marquee event under his leadership.

It was under his leadership that Pakistan reached the final of the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022. They would now be hoping to go one better as the tournament shifts to the USA and West Indies.

Pakistan will feature in Group A of the T20 World Cup, and will meet India, Ireland, Canada and the USA. Their marquee clash against Pakistan will take place in New York on June 9.