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Babar Azam returns as Pakistan white-ball captain in place of Shaheen Shah Afridi

Shaheen Afridi's team lost 4-1 in his single series as captain against New Zealand; Babar Azam is now set to take back over as short-format captain for Pakistan; Babar will begin his new stint with a five-match home T20 series against New Zealand next month

Pakistan's Shaheen Afridi is congratulated by captain Babar Azam after taking the wicket of India's captain Rohit Sharma during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Ahmedabad, India, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
Image: Shaheen Afridi has been replaced by Babar Azam as Pakistan's white-ball captain

Shaheen Shah Afridi's stand-in stint as Pakistan's white-ball captain has come to an end after just one series.

Babar Azam has now been reappointed to the role, after he relinquished the all-format captaincy last year when Pakistan failed to make it to the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup in India.

Afridi took charge of the recent T20 series against New Zealand but his team crashed to a humiliating 4-1 defeat and he now will not reprise the role.

It is also understood that the new chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Mohsin Naqvi, did not especially warm to Afridi, especially after the left-arm fast bowler had a disastrous Pakistan Super League campaign where his franchise Lahore Qalandars won just one out of 10 league games under his captaincy and finished last in the tournament.

"Following unanimous recommendation from the PCB's selection committee, chair Mohsin Naqvi has appointed Babar Azam as white-ball (ODI and T20I) captain of the Pakistan men's cricket team," the PCB said on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday.

Pakistan's next international assignment under Babar is a five-match T20 series against New Zealand at home, starting on April 18.

Peshawar Zalmi captain Babar Azam (Getty Images)
Image: Babar Azam will lead Pakistan in their home series against New Zealand

Pakistan are also due to play three T20s against Ireland and four against England before the T20 World Cup in the USA and the West Indies from June 2.

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