"Maybe he could have been given a longer run in the role" - Shadab Khan on Shaheen Afridi's stint as Pakistan T20I captain 

New Zealand v Pakistan - Men
Shaheen Afridi did not have a chance to make an impression as Pakistan T20I captain

Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan believes Shaheen Afridi should have been given a longer run as the T20I skipper. The left-arm pacer was appointed captain in the shake-up after the 2023 ODI World Cup and Babar Azam's subsequent resignation.

However, Afridi only led the Men in Green in a solitary bilateral series against New Zealand away from home. After losing the five-match series by a 1-4 margin, he was sacked from the role as Babar was reappointed captain amid a change in hierarchy in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Afridi was left far from pleased after his captaincy stint was cut short. However, he is back to playing under Babar, with the pair currently part of the Pakistan squad at the 2024 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States of America (USA).

Shadab Khan admits that decisions should not have been taken rapidly when it came to the captaincy changes in the team.

"From Shaheen’s point of view, things shouldn’t have changed so rapidly; instead, a system or adequate process should have been in place to ensure consistency and provide consistent results. Unfortunately, due to injury I didn’t play under Shaheen, so when I returned, I was still playing under Babar, and things were relatively the same for me," Shadab Khan said in an interview with Wisden.
"Looking at it from Shaheen’s perspective, maybe he could have been given a longer run in the role. However, having Babar back also provides us with an experienced captain, so not much has changed to make it harder for me," he added.

Things had gotten quite ugly after Babar Azam's re-appointment backed by PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi. Shaheen Afridi had even accused PCB of posting false quotes endorsing Babar under his name.

The left-arm pacer also posted several posts on his social media account that led to believe he was not happy with the decision.


"It might have been timed much better" - Shadab Khan on PCB's army training initiative

PCB had sent the Pakistan team for a grueling 10-day training camp with the army in Kakul. Clips of players carrying rocks uphill and performing other high-intensity drills went viral on social media.

Despite praising the program overall, Shadab Khan feels it should not have been conducted when the players were coming off a heavy workload.

"The camp was really helpful in terms of fitness, but I believe – and I might be wrong – that it might have been timed much better, given that many of the players had recently played quite a substantial amount of cricket. Don’t get me wrong: there was enough training and drills and a good conducive atmosphere, but not all of the players could participate as some were undergoing physical rehabilitation, which they continued here," Shadab Khan said inthe same interview.

Shadab has been struggling with both bat and ball of late, and his contribution is integral to Pakistan's chances at the 2024 T20 World Cup. The Men in Green are set to kickstart their campaign against co-hosts USA at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, June 6.

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