Islamabad: The Pakistan cricket team has been rocked by a major shock as their star batsman and captain Babar Azam announced his resignation from the leadership role in all three formats of the game. Babar Azam, who led Pakistan in 13 Tests, 18 ODIs, and 52 T20Is, took the decision after his team’s dismal performance in the ICC World Cup 2023 in India, where they failed to qualify for the semifinals.
Babar Azam, who is ranked among the top five batsmen in the world in all formats, said that it was an honor to captain Pakistan and it was a very difficult decision to step down, but he felt that it was the right time for a change. He thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the coach, the players, and the team management for their support and cooperation during his tenure as captain. He also expressed his gratitude to the passionate Pakistani fans for their unwavering support during his journey.
Babar Azam wrote on his social media platform X (formerly Twitter), “I still remember clearly the moment when I got a call from PCB to captain Pakistan in 2019. Reaching number one in the white ball format was a collective effort of the coach, players, and team management but I would like to express my gratitude to the passionate Pakistani fans for their unwavering support during this journey. Today I am resigning as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I think this is the right time for it. I will continue to play for Pakistan in all three formats as a player. I will continue to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication. I would like to sincerely thank the Pakistan cricket team for this remarkable responsibility.”
Babar Azam’s captaincy record in all formats was impressive, as he won 78 out of 133 matches, with one tie and four draws. He also scored heavily with the bat, amassing 1077 runs in Tests, 1305 runs in ODIs, and 1882 runs in T20Is as captain. However, his team’s performance in the World Cup was disappointing, as they won only four out of nine matches and finished fifth in the points table. They lost to arch-rivals India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and their only wins came against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Sri Lanka.
Babar Azam’s resignation has left a big void in the Pakistan cricket team, as he was the most consistent and reliable batsman and the most popular cricketer in the country. The PCB will have to find a suitable replacement for him, who can lead the team with confidence and skill in the upcoming challenges. Some of the possible candidates for the captaincy role are Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Hasan Ali.