Babar Azam has stepped down as the Pakistan captain in all formats of the game following the team’s poor ICC ODI World Cup 2023 campaign in India.
The 29-year-old has been the multi-format Pakistan captain since 2020. However, Pakistan’s disappointing campaign at the ongoing World Cup in India, where they failed to qualify for the semi-finals with just four wins in nine matches, has led to him stepping down with immediate effect.
“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,” Babar said in a statement, released on his social media channels on Wednesday.
“Reaching the number 1 spot in the white-ball format was a 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,” he added.
Not only captaincy, Babar was also largely off form with the bat during the World Cup 2023, scoring 320 runs in his nine innings at an average of 40 and strike rate of 82.90.
The former top-ranked ODI batter in the world, who averages 56.72 in the format with 19 centuries to his name, will continue to be available to play for Pakistan in all formats going forward. He will offer his support to whoever takes over as skipper.
“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,” said Babar.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility,” he added.