Babar Azam reinstated as Pakistan’s white-ball captain ahead of T20 World Cup 

Pakistan Cricket Board has reappointed star batter as their white-ball captain, just months before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024. 

Babar Azam is set to lead Pakistan in their year’s Men’s T20 World Cup after he was handed captaincy duties of white-ball formats following a unanimous recommendation from the PCB’s selection committee.

“Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi has appointed Babar Azam as white-ball (ODI and T20I) captain of the Pakistan men's cricket team,” PCB confirmed on social media.

Azam relinquished his leadership position following his team’s underwhelming performance at last year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India. Pakistan failed to qualify for the tournament's knockout stages after securing four wins in nine games.

Shaheen Shah Afridi took over as Pakistan’s T20I captain, while the red-ball leadership role was handed to Shan Masood after their ODI World Cup campaign in November last year.

Match highlights as India won their third clash of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 against Pakistan by a margin of seven wickets in Ahmedabad.

Afridi was handed T20I captaincy based on his performances in the Pakistan Super League, where he led Lahore Qalandars to consecutive title wins in 2022 and 2023.

However, during his first assignment as captain, leading Pakistan in a five-match T20I series in New Zealand, the team secured victory in just one game.

"As a team player, it is my duty to back our captain, Babar Azam," Shaheen Afridi said in a statement released by PCB.

"I have played under his captaincy and have nothing but respect for him. I will try to help him on and off the field. We are all one. Our aim is the same, to help Pakistan become the best team in the world.”

The unseen footage from Pakistan's win against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Sydney.

Azam also underlined the role of Shaheen in the leadership group going forward.

"As a captain, I have always valued his [Shaheen's] input and I will keep consulting him for important decisions going forward," Azam said.

"We must take advantage of his strategic understanding of the game. Our joint aim is to make this team the best in the world.”

Azam’s first assignment after reappointment as captain will be the upcoming five-match home T20I series against New Zealand. 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 feature in Group A of the T20 World Cup, and will meet India, Ireland, Canada and the USA.