Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi expressed his shock over the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s decision to re-appoint Babar Azam as captain of the national team. On Sunday, PCB re-appointed Babar as the captain of the white-ball teams. Babar has stepped down from his role after the ODI World Cup last year. PCB had named Shan Masood as Test captain, with pacer Shaheen Afridi taking over the mantle in the shortest format. The board, however, did not name a captain for the ODI side.

Rumours of Babar’s return had been rampast over the past few weeks and the PCB confirmed the development on Sunday.

In a post, the Pakistan Cricket Board wrote: “Babar Azam appointed as white-ball captain. Following unanimous recommendation from the PCB’s selection committee, Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi has appointed Babar Azam as white-ball (ODI and T20I) captain of the Pakistan men’s cricket team.”

Afridi, however, wasn’t too content over PCB’s decision to re-appoint Babar as captain. While he suggested that wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan would’ve been a much-better alternative, the former all-rounder congratulated Babar on reclaiming the captaincy role.

“I am surprised by the decision by very experienced cricketers in the selection committee. I still believe that if change was necessary than Rizwan was the best choice! But since now the decision has been made I offer my full support and best wishes to team Pakistan and Babar Azam,” Afridi posted on X.

With Babar’s return, Shaheen’s captaincy reign lasted just one series.

Insiders revealed that Shaheen accepted the change and didn’t protest much but pointed out that it was unfair on him to be judged on just one series.

According to the source, Shaheen’s inability to effectively lead the Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, resulting in their last-place finish, coupled with his own inconsistent performance, were key factors influencing the decision to replace him.

“The PCB Chairman had made it clear to the selectors that they must decide who should be the captain and also said they would be answerable for the performances of the national team in the future,” the source added.

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