PCB appoints Babar Azam as Pakistan's ODI captain; Azhar Ali gets extension as Test skipper

PCB appoints Babar Azam as Pakistan’s ODI captain; Azhar Ali gets extension as Test skipper

Both the players will lead Pakistan in the 2020-21 season.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed Babar Azam as the ODI captain after a long deliberation. Earlier, he was named only the T20I skipper and the decision on the 50-over format captaincy was supposed to be taken later as the team wasn’t scheduled to play any ODI. Babar replaces Sarfaraz Ahmed at the helm which was expected after the latter was axed from the team across all the formats following his poor form with the bat.

To make things worse, Pakistan also lost the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka’s second-string side at home by 3-0. The Men in Green were scheduled to be play the one-off ODI against Bangladesh in the first week of April which was expected to be Babar Azam’s ODI captaincy debut. But the final part of the tour was suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The PCB announced the decision while releasing the list of centrally contracted players for the 2020-21 season. Babar has also got the extension as the T20I captain which isn’t surprising while Azhar Ali has also been retained at the helm for the Tests. He has so far led Pakistan in five Tests losing two and winning as many while the other was ended in a draw.

Pakistan scheduled to play 9 Tests, 6 ODIs and 20 T20Is in 2020-21 season

According to the ICC’s Future Tour Programme (FTP), Pakistan is scheduled to play nine Tests, six ODIs and 20 T20 Internationals in the 2020-21 season. And Babar Azam and Azhar Ali will lead the team in respective formats for the said period. The head coach Misbah-ul-Haq congratulated them for the same and also expressed that the PCB has made the right decision.

“I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for getting captaincy extensions. This is absolutely the right decision as they also require certainty and clarity on their future roles. I am sure they will now start looking to the future and start planning so that they can build sides that can perform at the expected levels,” he said according to the PCB’s press release.