Babar Azam’s advice saved vice-captaincy of Shadab Khan

The vice-captaincy was spared, selectors have accepted not giving rest before the World Cup

Babar Azam’s advice saved vice-captaincy of Shadab Khan PHOTO: AFP

Shadab Khan managed to hold onto his vice-captaincy by a thread, while selectors decided to not rest him before the World Cup, following the advice of Pakistan's skipper, Babar Azam.

Imad Wasim was ignored for the ODI squad against the Kiwis despite being included in the T20I squad, as the captain did not vote in his favor.

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According to reports, PCB had initially planned to rest Shadab during the home series against New Zealand.

He was stand-in captain for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the Men in Green lost the series by 2-1.

In a post-match press conference after Pakistan lost the second T20I against Afghanistan in the aforementioned series, the stand-in captain highlighted the critical role of Babar and Mohammad Rizwan stating, "now people will realize the importance of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan."

The higher authorities were displeased with the statement, as news of Shadab being rested and stripped of his vice-captaincy sparked a social media frenzy.

The decision faced backlash from former Test stars, also with the hashtag #DestroyerNajamSethi trending on Twitter against the chairman of the PCB Management Committee. However, due to Babar's backing for Shadab, the authorities eventually reversed their decision. 

Sources reveal that the captain has reportedly urged the board to avoid further experimentation ahead of the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 scheduled in India.

Given the current schedule, players cannot be afforded rest, and therefore, the decision was made to retain Shadab as vice-captain due to his excellent performance.

There seem to be strained relations between former teammates of Karachi Kings as Imad expressed disappointment over Babar's alleged condition of being made captain of the PSL franchise, and the subsequent lack of trust shown towards him in that role.

However, Imad has reclaimed the reins of Karachi Kings following Babar's move to Peshawar Zalmi, and his impressive performance in Sharjah makes it difficult for the team management to leave him out of the playing eleven.