Azam takes over as Pakistan ODI captain

Batsman succeeds Sarfaraz Ahmed

Babar Azam Quinton de Kock Pakistan vs South Africa

Batsman Babar Azam has been appointed Pakistan's ODI captain. Azam has succeeded former ODI captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Azam has retained the T20I captaincy, too, while fellow batsman Azhar Ali will continue to lead the Test team.

“I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for getting captaincy extensions,” said chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.

“This is absolutely the right decision as they also require certainty and clarity on their future roles. I am sure they will now start looking to the future and start planning so that they can build sides that can perform at the expected levels.”

PCB contracts

Fast bowlers Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir, meanwhile, have lost central contracts with the Pakistan Cricket Board. Sarfaraz has been moved from category A to B.

The PCB have also implemented a new 'emerging' category. Batsman Haider Ali and seamers Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf are in this.

“I am thankful to the PCB chairman for supporting our recommendation to give emerging player contracts to Haider, Haris and Hasnain. This is part of our forward-looking strategy and investing in the future, while also encouraging potential future national team players. I am sure this will motivate a number of youngsters in the 2020-21 domestic cricket to perform up to the expected level and earn such incentives,” added Misbah.

“The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move. However, Amir and Wahab are senior and experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan men’s cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers.

“In the list, we have a strong pool of batsmen and bowlers, which will allow us to strategically rotate our players and manage their workloads. In the meantime, the selectors will continue to keep an eye on the 2020-21 domestic cricket and if they feel strongly that someone needs to be fast tracked into the national side, then we will not hesitate in giving those top performers such opportunities.”

Pakistan are scheduled to play in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

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