Pakistan skipper Babar Azam arrives in Lahore, to meet PCB chief this week | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Pakistan captain Babar Azam returned to Lahore on Monday following a disappointing World Cup campaign, amid speculation that he won’t step down voluntarily but will await the Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision.
Greeted by family at Lahore International Airport, Babar appeared disheartened, surrounded by security personnel. Insider reports suggest Babar will meet with PCB chief Zaka Ashraf this week to decide on his all-format captaincy.Despite being champions in 1992, Pakistan failed to reach the World Cup semifinals, losing five of nine league matches.
Babar assumed white-ball captaincy in late 2019 and became Test skipper in 2021, leading Pakistan in two Asia Cups, two T20 World Cups and the 2023 ODI World Cup without clinching a title.
The team’s lackluster performance in India has sparked a division within the cricket fraternity in Pakistan, debating whether Babar should continue as captain or if alternative options should be explored.

Noteworthy supporters include former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja and ex-all-rounder Shahid Afridi. Initially, Afridi had suggested that fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi was prepared to take on the role of Pakistan’s captain.
While the debate over Babar’s captaincy intensifies on social media and various platforms, PCB chief has revealed his plan to consult with former players before determining the next steps.

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Pakistan face challenging tours against Australia and New Zealand in December-January. Possible captaincy candidates include batsman Shan Masood, wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed, and fast bowler Shaheen.
With the team set to depart for Australia in early December, the PCB has a two-week window to finalise its strategy for the future.
(With PTI inputs)


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