Babar Azam announced on Wednesday that he was stepping down as the Pakistan cricket captain in all formats.
He made the announcement on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), shortly after he met Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Interim Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf in Lahore.
According to the PCB, Babar was asked to continue as Test captain after being relieved of the captaincy in white-ball cricket.
In his statement, Babar said, “I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world.”
He said that reaching the number one spot in white-ball cricket was the result of the “collective efforts of players, coaches, and management but I’d like to express my gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support during this journey”.
“Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is a right time for this call. I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication,” he said.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility,” Babar concluded.
Babar was first made the T20 captain in 2019, before taking charge of the Test and ODI teams in 2020.
Although Babar did not mention a specific reason for his decision to step down, it comes after the team’s disastrous performance in the World Cup.
The Green Shirts lost five of their nine games including a seven-wicket mauling by India in front of more than 100,000 fans in Ahmedabad. Pakistan also lost to Afghanistan for the first time.
Meanwhile, the PCB said that Shan Masood was appointed Test captain while Shaheen Shah Afridi will lead the T20 side.
Former Test captain Mohammad Hafeez was also appointed as the team director, according to a separate PCB press release.
It said the board had “changed the portfolio of the Pakistan coaching staff”, adding that all coaches would continue to work in the National Cricket Academy while the PCB would announce the new coaching staff in “due course” for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand.
Babar’s meeting with Ashraf Earlier today, Babar had met the PCB chief in Lahore. Footage aired on television had shown Babar’s car being hounded by fans and journalists as he left the PCB headquarters at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Shortly after Babar announced his decision to step down, the PCB issued a press release regarding the meeting with Ashraf which was described as “cordial”.
“Babar was asked to continue as Test captain while he has been relieved of captaincy in white-ball cricket for him to focus on one format.
“After consultation with his family, Babar decided to step down and PCB stands behind his decision,” the statement said.