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T20 captaincy controversy Leaves Shaheen Afridi ‘unhappy’

The ongoing dispute surrounding Pakistan’s T20 captaincy has left Shaheen Shah Afridi dissatisfied, as the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee remains divided on whether to replace him as skipper.

According to these sources, members of the selection committee have different rationales for wanting to replace Shaheen as captain, leading to a lack of consensus on the matter.

Furthermore, it’s been noted that the selection committee has reached out to Shaheen directly regarding this issue.

This topic has also become a subject of discussion among players currently attending the army fitness camp in Kakul.

Recent reports suggested that the selection committee has opted to reinstate Babar Azam as T20 captain for the upcoming five-match series against New Zealand.

Babar had previously relinquished captaincy across all formats following Pakistan’s disappointing exit from the 2023 ODI World Cup, after which Shaheen was appointed T20 captain and Shan Masood as Test captain.

However, following Lahore Qalandars’ underwhelming performance in the Pakistan Super League’s ninth edition and changes within the PCB hierarchy, Babar has emerged as the frontrunner for the captaincy position.

A meeting chaired by PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi, attended by Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, selection committee members Mohammad Yousuf, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq, Bilal Afzal, and Director of International Cricket Usman Wahla, took place recently.

During this meeting, the selection committee members presented their recommendations regarding the national cricket team’s captaincy.

Discussions were also held regarding potential leadership changes for the upcoming T20 World Cup in 2024, as well as adjustments to the coaching staff.

The PCB aims to adopt a novel approach by appointing separate coaches for red-ball and white-ball cricket, with advertisements posted on the board’s website to this effect.

Gary Kirsten is under consideration for the head coach role in white-ball cricket, while Jason Gillespie is likely to lead coaching efforts for the red-ball format.

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