The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to reinstate Babar Azam as the T20 captain following a recommendation by the newly-established selection committee, as reported by Geo News citing insider sources.

Babar Azam is set to lead the team during the upcoming five-match T20 series against New Zealand. The reinstated captain is trending on X (formerly Twitter) since the news broke.

Under the stewardship of Zaka Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi was appointed as the white-ball captain post the team's disappointing performance in the ICC World Cup 2023. Meanwhile, Shan Masood was entrusted with the red-ball captaincy during the previous administration.

Sources revealed that the selection committee, in unanimous agreement, conveyed to PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi that Babar Azam should resume captaincy duties for T20 cricket. Consequently, the 29-year-old will partake in the Kakul training camp in his new role as captain.

In response to these developments, Shaheen Shah Afridi was reportedly contemplating stepping down from his position as T20I captain. However, sources close to the fast bowler advised against it, emphasizing that the appointment of the captain is within the PCB's jurisdiction, and he should accept their decision.

Babar Azam relinquished the captaincy across all formats in November last year, culminating his prolonged tenure in the leadership role, following Pakistan's disappointing World Cup campaign.

Criticism had mounted against the former skipper for several months, especially after Pakistan's lackluster performance in the Asia Cup, which carried over into the World Cup, resulting in their premature exit before reaching the semifinals.

In a parallel development, the cricket board is nearing the appointment of separate coaches for white-ball and red-ball cricket. Insider sources suggest that discussions regarding their selection have entered the final stages.

It is anticipated that Gary Kirsten, a renowned South African coach, will be appointed for white-ball cricket, while the Australian coach, Jason Gillespie, is expected to take charge for red-ball cricket.

Negotiations with both coaches are currently underway, covering various aspects including sports staff and domestic coaches. Additionally, it is speculated that Gillespie may assume responsibilities during Kirsten's other commitments.

Written By Zeeshan Ahmed

Zeeshan Ahmed is a Communication graduate from the University of Karachi. He has been associated with electronic, print, and digital media for the past ten years. He has worked on multiple beats but his major expertise lies in sports reporting. He is an accredited sports journalist by PCB and has been active in sports reporting.