Pakistan appoint Babar Azam Test captain
Babar Azam has been appointed as Pakistan Test captain, which makes him the captain across all three formats. His 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 26-30 December and 3-7 January, respectively.
Babar 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.
Mani said: “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.
“Babar Azam was identified at a very young age as a future leader and as part of his progression and development, he was appointed white-ball captain last year. With his consistent performance and leadership skills, he has demonstrated that he is ready to take on the additional responsibilities of a captain.
“As we are looking into the future, it is appropriate that we appoint him 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.”
Babar Azam said: “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. 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. 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.”