Pakistan Cricket Board Contemplates Captaincy Change Amid World Cup Woes
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in the midst of a major upheaval, with growing dissatisfaction over Babar Azam‘s leadership as captain of the national cricket team. Recent losses in the ICC World Cup, including a defeat against Afghanistan, have led to intense scrutiny of Azam’s position. The PCB is now contemplating potential replacements to steer the team in a different direction.
Mounting Pressure on Babar Azam
One reliable source close to the developments within the PCB stated, “Only if Pakistan can stage a miracle and win all their remaining matches to qualify for the semi-finals of this World Cup does Babar stand any chance of surviving as captain.” The source indicated that even in such a scenario, Babar might be relegated to captaincy in the red ball format, signalling the possible end of his tenure as skipper.
Critics argue that Babar has been granted significant authority as captain, which hasn’t been adequately challenged. They attribute the team’s recent failures, including the Asia Cup and World Cup defeats, to this unchecked power.
Former captains Misbah-ul-Haq and Muhammad Hafeez had advised Babar to make changes in the team for the World Cup in India. However, Babar’s choices prevailed, and the squad remained unchanged. Even suggestions to include mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed were declined, with Ahmed travelling as a reserve.
Potential Replacements Emerge
It appears that lobbies have formed for possible captain candidates, including Sarfaraz, Shaheen, Rizwan, and Shan Masood. The PCB is reportedly considering naming different captains for the red and white ball formats.
According to the source, “Sarfaraz might win the nod to captain the Test and ODI sides again while Shaheen may get a chance to be the T20 captain.”
Coaching Staff Changes on the Horizon
Not only is the captaincy in question, but the PCB is also contemplating changes in the coaching staff. The source revealed, “They are very bright chances that Pakistan will have a new coaching staff and captain when they embark on the Test tour of Australia and for the white ball series in New Zealand after the WC.”
Mickey Arthur, Grant Bradburn, Mornie Merkel, Andrew Puttick, and manager Rehan ul Haq are under scrutiny and may be asked to step down after the World Cup. This shift in leadership and support staff could usher in a new era for Pakistan cricket.
Addressing Dressing Room Disputes
The PCB has also been dealing with reports of differences and disputes within the dressing room, which they have rubbished. However, these reports have added to the overall sense of turmoil surrounding the team.
IBabar Azam initially took over as the T20 captain in late 2019, eventually becoming captain across all three formats by 2021. His journey as captain now faces an uncertain future as PCB deliberates potential leadership changes.
The PCB is expected to make its final decision upon the team’s return from the World Cup in India.
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