Pakistan selectors 'divided' on reasons to change Shaheen Afridi

Sohail Imran
Pakistan T20 captain Shaheen Afridi. — AFP/File
Pakistan T20 captain Shaheen Afridi. — AFP/File
  • Shaheen Afridi's future as T20 captain uncertain.
  • Selectors divided on reasons to change skipper.
  • PCB likely to appoint Babar Azam as captain for NZ series. 

LAHORE: The controversy over the captaincy continues as the selection committee tasked to decide on the matter by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) “stood divided” on reasons to change Shaheen Afridi as T20 captain, sources told Geo News Saturday.

According to the TV report, the selection committee members cited different issues for replacing the skipper and didn’t agree on a single reason regarding Shaheen Afridi’s replacement.

The ongoing controversy has also “displeased” Afridi, the sources said, adding that the captaincy has been the focus of discussion among players who are currently attending the army fitness camp in Kakul.

Meanwhile, the selection committee has also reportedly contacted the T20 captain on the matter.

Babar Azam had stepped down from the captaincy across all formats following Pakistan’s disappointing exit from the 2023 ODI World Cup after which the PCB appointed Shaheen as T20 captain and Shan Masood as Test captain.

However, following Lahore Qalandars' poor performance in the Pakistan Super League’s ninth edition and the change in PCB setup, Babar has emerged as the top choice for the prized slot.

A meeting was also held on Thursday with PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi in the chair, attended by Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, along with selection committee members Mohammad Yousuf, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Razzaq, Bilal Afzal, and Director of International Cricket Usman Wahla.

During the late-night huddle, selection committee members presented their recommendations regarding the national cricket team’s captaincy.

Discussions were held regarding potential changes in leadership for the T20 World Cup 2024 and the coaching staff.

The PCB aims to adopt a unique approach by appointing separate coaches for red-ball and white-ball cricket and an advertisement has been published on the board's website in this regard. 

While Gary Kirsten is being considered for the head coach role in white-ball cricket, Jason Gillespie is likely to lead coaching efforts for the red-ball format.