Shaheen Afridi’s T20I captaincy under threat ahead of T20 World Cup

Rizwan is the frontrunner as PCB is contemplating change in leadership again. Babar is also in the race

Shaheen Afridi’s T20I captaincy under threat ahead of T20 World Cup PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan lanky pacer and T20 captain, Shaheen Shah Afridi's captaincy has been under the shadow of uncertainty. 

Under Shaheen's leadership, Lahore Qalandars had won the last two HBL PSL titles, but the team's performance has been subpar this season, winning only one match and finishing at the bottom of the points table.

According to sources, PCB's new chairman Mohsin Naqvi has been receiving suggestions for a change in captaincy. Some believe that 23-year-old Shaheen is too young for this responsibility and needs more maturity. On the other hand, some board members believe that a decision to change leadership close to the World Cup might not be wise as it could negatively impact the team's performance. The final decision will be made by the chairman. 

In case of a change, there is a higher possibility that Muhammad Rizwan will be appointed for the role. However, Babar Azam will be in contention too. 

Naqvi has not yet met Shaheen or any other cricketer individually; he had invited several players to Islamabad together. After the PSL, discussions on various matters will be conducted in separate meetings.

Furthermore, the Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to participate in a series against New Zealand next month, and the captain's decision will have to be made soon. 

On the other hand, former all-rounder Wasim Akram, in a brief conversation with Cricket Pakistan representative stated that whoever PCB selects as captain should do so after careful consideration and should be given the responsibility for at least 2 years to bring improvement in Pakistan cricket. 

Meanwhile, Shane Watson has demanded a hefty sum to take up the coaching responsibilities, which amounts to millions in Pakistani rupees. Watson's demeanor suggests that he might not be interested in taking up the role, as he does not want to stay away from his family for long periods. PCB is insisting that Watson take on the role due to limited options, but it is unlikely that deal will be finalized with Watson. Discussions have also been held with Mike Hesson, but he has not given a positive response yet and has asked for time to consider.