‘Shaheen and my bond is not recent, it goes back a long way’: Babar Azam on Pakistan captaincy controversy

Written by Praveen CA

Shaheen Shah Afridi was left disgruntled last month when PCB replaced him with Babar Azam, who was reappointed as Pakistan captain. The manner in which it was done created controversy as Afridi was left furious with a statement on PCB’s website which carried his quotes, which he did not say.

Ahead of Pakistan’s T20I series vs New Zealand, Babar held his first press conference in his second captaincy stint. Speaking about his relationship with the pacer, the batter reassured fans that they were in good terms. “I want to make clear that Shaheen [Afridi] and my bond is not recent, it goes back a long way,” he said.

“We support each other in every situation. Our aim is to put Pakistan first, and how to put Pakistan’s name up in lights. We don’t think of individual glory, and thankfully, those elements are not present in my team,” he further added.

It is worth noting that when a year ago, rumours about Babar losing his captaincy began, Afridi was the one of the first to back him.

The New Zealand series will be a litmus test for Pakistan ahead of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to begin in June. Pakistan were runners-up in the 2022 T20 World Cup, and will be looking to clinch the title this time.

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Praveen CA