“Never lobbied for Shaheen Afridi,” Shahid Afridi says Mohammad Rizwan should’ve replaced Babar Azam as captain instead of Shaheen
Shaheen Afridi has been named new T20I captain after Babar Azam stepped down as Pakistan captain.
Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has clarified that he never lobbied for his son-in-law and pacer Shaheen Afridi to become Pakistan captain. His words come after the Pakistan Cricket Board named the pacer as the T20I captain of Pakistan team, while Shan Masood would lead in tests.
Babar Azam resigned from captaincy of all the formats after a meeting with the board after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 debacle. Pakistan won four of their nine games in the group stage, thereby leading the team to another ouster, the fifth time in the last six editions of the tournament that the team has failed to qualify for the semi-final.
Furthermore, Shahid Afridi has been called by Prime Minister of Pakistan to discuss the future of Pakistan cricket, and during an interaction on SAMAA TV, Afridi revealed that he advised the PM, who is also the patron of PCB, not to remove Babar as captain.
He said that in case Babar stepped down, he suggested Mohammad Rizwan was a better option to take over captaincy in all formats.
“I was saying that there was no need for change the captain so soon. Prime Minister asked me, we were talking about cricket and captaincy. I gave my views, saying Babar should not be changed now. I thought he should continue in Test cricket. If you wanted a white-ball captain, I thought Mohammad Rizwan should have been the ideal candidate. I have said this many times in the past as well,” Afridi said on SAMAA TV.
“I talked to the PCB chairman also. I told that Babar Azam should continue as the red ball captain. I told him that one-day and T20I captaincy could be given to Mohammad Rizwan. He was captaining Multan Sultans also. He knows how to take the team forward. I would say that this is Mohammad Hafeez’s decision along with the chairman,” he added.
Mohammad Hafeez was appointed as the director of Pakistan team for the tours of Australia and New Zealand until February next year.
‘I have never backed Shaheen Afridi for captaincy,’ says Shahid Afridi
Following the choice of Shaheen Afridi as Pakistan’s skipper in the shorter edition of the game, there was conjecture about Shahid Afridi’s participation in the decision. Shaheen is Shahid’s son-in-law, having married Shahid Afridi’s daughter, Ansha, earlier this year.
But Shahid Afridi said that he never backed Shaheen Afridi as captain and didn’t suggest his name to the PM or PCB.
“In terms of Shaheen becoming the T20 captain, I never wanted to get involved in any such decisions because I know people will say I am lobbying for Shaeen, considering his relationship with me. I don’t want to get involved in these things. I would not have criticised the chairman if that was the case. I am saying with certainty that till today, I have never backed Shaheen for captaincy. ,” Afridi added.
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