Shaheen Afridi turned down vice-captaincy due to THESE reasons

Afridi focused on individual performance; doesn't want to affect team's unity, says senior sports journalist

Sports Desk
May 25, 2024
Shaheen Afridi turned down vice-captaincy due to THESE reasons
Pakistan left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi (left) and skipper Babar Azam during Asia Cup 2023. — AFP/File

Pakistan’s left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi has recently turned down the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) offer for vice-captaincy alongside skipper Babar Azam — just a week ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 — which grabbed the attention of cricketing circles.

Sources close to Shaheen have confirmed that the selection committee had offered the pacer to become the team's vice-captain and skipper Babar Azam's second in command, which he refused to accept.

The left-arm fast was “not prepared” to take the responsibility of vice-captaincy for the national side which made wicketkeeper-cum-batter Mohammad Rizwan a strong candidate for the post, team sources told Geo News. Meanwhile, all-rounder Shadab Khan is also in the running for the role.

Senior sports journalist Abdul Majid Bhatti told Geo News that Afridi took it very seriously after being stripped of the T20 captaincy just after five matches. He added that the pacer decided to focus on his cricket instead of affecting the team’s unity ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Bhatti said that the pacer’s father-in-law Shahid Afridi used to guide him regarding his career decisions and the latter advised him to only focus on performance which led him to many opportunities to lead his side in future.

The senior journalist pointed out that Afridi had been declared Man of the Match in his last two encounters with New Zealand in the five-match T20I series played in April.

He added that the national team was united under the captaincy of Azam. Afridi neither wanted to affect the team’s unity nor desired to engage in media speculations but to be focused on improving his performance to play a vital role in Pakistan’s victory.

Yesterday, Pakistan announced their squad for the T20 World Cup 2024, which begins on June 1 and will be played in the United States and West Indies.

It is pertinent to know that the board had appointed Shaheen as the team's T20 skipper following Babar's resignation from the key post in November last year following the team’s below-par performance in the 2023 Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup.

Later in March 2024, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reinstated Babar Azam as the national side's white-ball captain ahead of the Green Shirt's five-match T20I series against New Zealand which was played in April.