Babar Azam has been appointed Pakistan cricket team captain, confirms Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday.
Azam, 26, will be leading the national team in all three formats after Azhar Ali removed as Pakistan Test captain.
“His (Babar Azam’s) 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,” said the PCB in a press release.
His apppointment was confirmed by PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, after a meeting with outgoing captain Azhar Ali. Mani also thanked Ali for stepping up during his stint as Test captain of the team.
“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,” said Mani.
“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.”
Mani maintained that the decision to appoint Babar Azam as skipper was made after his consistent performance and leadership skills as captain of the white-ball formats.
“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,” he said, wishing the new captain best of luck for the team’s future.
On his appointment as the captain, Babar Azam said he was elated and honoured to have his name go down in history with some of the cricket’s greats.
“I can now say with conviction that dreams can come true only if you chase them with honesty, dedication and commitment”, Azam added.
“I am ready and prepared to take up the additional responsibility and the fact which gives me additional confidence is 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,” he said.