Babar Azam says he has resigned as Pakistan captain in all three formats following the team’s World Cup flop but will continue playing for the national team.
“Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats,” Azam announced on X, formerly Twitter, after meeting PCB chief Zakar Ashraf in Lahore.
“It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is the right time for this call. I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats.”
The 29-year-old had been leading the side since November 2019 but after the failure to reach the World Cup semi-finals in India his position was immediately under threat.
“I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication,” added Azam. “I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility.”
Shan Masood has been appointed Test captain, with Shaheen Shah Afridi taking the reins of the white-ball side.
Azam said his journey had been a rollercoaster ride which culminated in a record of four wins and five losses at the World Cup.
As well as suffering an eighth defeat in eight meetings at World Cups against arch-rivals India, he also oversaw a first loss to neighbours Afghanistan.
“I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from the PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field,” said Azam. “But I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world.”
Ranked as the No 1 batsman before the World Cup, Azam failed to score big runs in India, finishing with 320 without a century over nine games
Azam led Pakistan in 20 Tests, winning 10, losing six and drawing the other four. In 43 ODIs, Pakistan won 26, losing 16 with one no result.
In the shortest format, Azam led Pakistan to the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in 2021 and a runners-up finish a year later.
In 71 T20Is, he enjoyed 41 wins, 23 losses with seven no results.
Team director Mickey Arthur and head coach Grant Bradburn also held discussions with Ashraf but they are likely to remain in their positions.
Pakistan have a tough tour of Australia coming up where they play three Tests, starting in Perth from 12 December.
They have lost all of their last 14 Tests in the country with their most recent victory coming back in 1995.
© Agence France-Presse
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