Babar Azam quits as Pakistan captain after ICC World Cup 2023 dismay

Babar's side could only manage four wins from nine outings in WC

babar-azam-salil Pakistan captain Babar Azam during a practice session at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata | Salil Bera

Following Pakistan's dismal ICC ODI World Cup 2023 campaign, talismanic batter Babar Azame resigned as the national captain from all formats of the game. Pakistan had failed to make it to the semifinals of the coveted quadrennial tournament despite the familiar subcontinental conditions. Babar Azam-led side could only manage four wins from nine outings.

"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. I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility,"  Babar reportedly said in a statement announcing his decision. 

"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 added.

Babar Azam entered the World Cup as the top-ranked ODI batter before getting toppled by India's Shubman Gill in the latest rankings. He managed 320 runs in the tournament and was Pakistan's the third-highest run-getter at an average of 40.

There were no immediate clues on who will succeed the iconic right-hander. Shan Masood is the overwhelming favourite to take over the Test captaincy with immediate effect, ESPN Cricinfo said in a report. 

Babar Azam was made the captain in 2019 and he admitted that he has experienced both highs and lows after he first got a call from PCB informing him of the decision of appointing him the leader of the national team.

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Several former Pakistani cricket stalwarts like Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq had opinioned that Babar Azam needs to give up captaincy and concentrate on his game.

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