Babar Azam steps down as Pakistan captain after disastrous show in CWC 2023
Babar Azam took charge as Pakistan’s captain in 2019.
Babar Azam has stepped down as the captain of the Pakistan cricket team in all formats, citing the team’s disappointing performance in the 2023 ODI World Cup as the main reason for his decision. Criticism had heightened, especially after Pakistan’s early exit from the World Cup during the league stage, where they only managed to win four out of nine matches.
On X (formerly Twitter), Babar Azam shared that leading Pakistan since 2019 has been a mix of highs and lows, aiming to uphold the nation’s pride in cricket. Despite the collective efforts that led to Pakistan’s No. 1 spot in white-ball cricket, he thanked fans for unwavering support. Babar Azam announced his decision to step down as captain in all formats, expressing gratitude to the Pakistan Cricket Board and pledging continued support as a player.
“I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world.” Babar said in a statement announcing his decision.
“Reaching the No. 1 spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management but I’d like to express my gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support during this journey.” he further added.
“Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is a right time for this call. I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication. I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility.” concluded Babar.
Babar Azam experienced a disappointing campaign with the Pakistan cricket team in the ongoing ODI World Cup in India. Unfortunately, Pakistan fell short of making it to the knockouts, finishing fifth with eight points from nine matches. Despite the team’s overall performance, on an individual level, Babar contributed significantly by scoring 320 runs in nine matches during the World Cup. This achievement ranked him as the third-highest run-scorer for Pakistan, maintaining an average of 40 and a strike rate of 82.90.
After Pakistan’s premature exit from the ODI World Cup in India, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Zaka Ashraf, met with Babar Azam on Wednesday for a review session to evaluate the team’s performance. In the aftermath of their disappointing World Cup campaign, the PCB is planning extensive changes, including revamping the team management and national squad. The entire selection committee has been let go, and there are intentions to replace the team’s foreign coaches. Adding to the changes, Bowling coach Morne Morkel has resigned from his position.