Babar Azam replaces Azhar Ali as Pakistan Test captain

Decision makes Babar Azam the captain across all three formats

Babar Azam replaces Azhar Ali as Pakistan Test captain PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Prolific batsman Babar Azam has been appointed as Pakistan Test captain, which makes him the national team’s skipper across all three formats.

The right-handed batsman’s first assignment will be to captain Pakistan in the ICC World Test Championship fixtures against New Zealand, which will be played in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch from December 26-30 and January 3-7, respectively.

Azam replaces Azhar Ali, who last captained against England this summer.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani confirmed the appointment following a meeting with Azhar Ali on Tuesday evening in which he also thanked him for his contributions as a captain.

The PCB Chairman subsequently spoke with Babar Azam following his side’s eight wickets in the third T20I against Zimbabwe and congratulated him on his appointment.

Speaking on the decision, Mani said that Azam is ready to take charge of the side in all formats of the games through “his consistent performance and leadership skills”.

“I want to thank Azhar Ali for stepping up last year by captaining the side in what was a historic first home Test series in over a decade. I believe Azhar still has a lot of cricket left in him and Pakistan cricket can continue to make the best use of his experience and knowledge as specialist top-order batsman moving forward,” Mani said.

“As we are looking into the future, it is appropriate that we appoint him [Babar] the captain now so that he continues to grow stronger with every match. I wish Babar all the best and remain optimistic that he will help Pakistan cricket make an upward movement across all formats, not only with his performance but also with his positive attitude and result-oriented approach,” he added.

ALSO READAkhtar pins high hopes on Dunk, in-from local players ahead of PSL 5 playoffs

Meanwhile, Azam was delighted over his appointment as the team’s new red-ball captain.  

“I feel truly honoured to have been appointed Test captain and join some of the most iconic players who have captained Pakistan in the purist format of the game. I can now say with conviction that dreams can come true only if you chase them with honesty, dedication and commitment,” said Azam.

“I am ready and prepared to take up the additional responsibility and the thing that gives me additional confidence that I can do the job is the experience that is available to me in the changing room in the shape of the players and support staff,” he added.

Azam also appreciated outgoing captain Ali for the way he led the side in the past.

“I want to thank Azhar Ali for the way he captained in the last season, which was a difficult one, but I know that he will leave no stone unturned in giving his very best for the team,” he said.