The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Tuesday that Babar Azam was appointed as Pakistan's new test captain
Babar Azam, the current skipper of Pakistan's white-ball teams, has replaced Azhar Ali.
PCB made the announcement on their social media handles, mentioning that the upcoming Test series in New Zealand will be Babar Azam's first assignment as Test captain:
“Babar Azam has been appointed as Pakistan Test captain, which now makes him the captain across all three formats. His first assignment will be to captain Pakistan in the ICC World Test Championship fixtures against New Zealand,” PCB wrote.
It is clear that Babar Azam will lead the national team in all three formats of the game, till the next Cricket World Cup and has been assured PCB's full support in this regard.
With Babar Azam's ascendency, Azhar Ali's brief stint as the Test captain of Pakistan comes to an end.
He replaced Pakistan's former skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed, in October, last year. In Azhar Ali's maiden overseas assignment as Test captain, Pakistan were humbled by back-to-back innings defeats in Australia.
Although, Azhar Ali managed a series win against depleted test sides -- Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at home, a series loss in England earlier this year meant that his chances of retaining the Test leadership became bleak.
There had been on-going discussions in PCB about appointing a younger captain in place of Azhar Ali.
Keeping in view Babar Azam's meteoric rise in Test Cricket since 2018, he was the leading contender for the role. Moreover, unlike his successors, Sarfraz Ahmed and Azhar Ali, there have been hardly any doubts about Babar Azam's form with the bat, therefore, it was only a matter of time before PCB gave him the responsibility.
Recently, Pakistan's legendary pacer, Wasim Akram also backed Babar Azam's selection as the new Test captain of Pakistan.
Wasim Akram emphasized that Babar Azam should be in the role for an adequate amount of time and that Pakistan should have a single leader across all formats:
"You ask me as a former player, yes, I back Babar to become Test captain because he is our future and he can continue for a long time. I back Babar because I don’t want to see those days when I was playing and there were around four to five captains in our dressing room."
Pakistan is scheduled to tour New Zealand later this year where they will take part in 3 T20Is and 2 Tests.Published 10 Nov 2020, 23:33 IST